Kate Novotny has been busy since her induction at Marquette University in 2010. She is now a grad student at Marquette studying to earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurship, and she is also founder and CEO of Buena Vida Coffee, a student-run not-for-profit with a mission. Buena Vida supports a coffee lover's habit with organic, fair trade certified Honduran coffee, while also supporting two inspiring organizations. All of Buena Vida's coffee comes from COMSA, a farming co-op in La Paz, Honduras. The organic and fair trade certified co-op started in 2001 and now has 242 member farmers and 42 farms. While the co-op provides delicious coffee beans, it also provides education to nearly 100 students, funds scholarships for continuing education for members, and helps support the Red Cross, who works locally in community health and building infrastructure for the local school.
COMSA is not the only organization benefiting from Buena Vida Coffee. Through coffee sales and an innovative fundraising program for groups, the organization raises money to support the Sociedad Amigos de los Niños orphanage in Honduras. The orphanage was founded over 40 years ago by Sr. Maria Rosa Leggol, the woman known lovingly as the Mother Teresa of Honduras. She earned this monicker with good reason. Sr. Maria Rosa's work with the orphanage has changed the lives of over 40,000 orphans through programs such as children's homes, health and HIV clinics, numerous schools, and job training programs. With the support of Kate's organization, these and other programs will continue to impact the lives of so many in Honduras.
Kate is an impressive example of leading through Ignatian values and continuing the call to service of her Jesuit education.