‘Kevin from Starbucks’: Bringing positivity to Iona’s campus


Picture Courtesy of Kevin Villa 

Kevin Villa is everyone’s favorite Starbucks Barista. 

Niomi Nunez, Features & Lifestyle Editor

Kevin Villa is more than a Starbucks barista; he might actually be the kindest person alive. With his go-to lighthearted catchphrases, Villa is one person everyone can count on to brighten even the darkest of days. 

Villa is of Colombian and Ecuadorian heritage and grew up in Yonkers, New York. He began working at Iona University back in 2020. Before working at Iona, Villa was a student at Westchester Community College where he studied film for three semesters. Filmmaking is one of Villa’s many passions along with photography.  

His passion for filmmaking can be seen in his kind reminiscent demeanor. Filmmaking is all about capturing the most vital and crucial moments in a story, and this is exactly what Villa does when talking about Iona students.  

“I look at you guys and see you go through every semester…to see you guys rise up like that is pretty awesome,” Villa said. “To see the person someone is freshmen year and then see the person they become sophomore year and junior year and see them open up more and be more inviting is always great business.”  

Around campus, Villa is loved by many for his exemplary generosity and kindness. Unlike other people, being kind-hearted is something that comes naturally to Villa.  

 “I always felt like it’s easy to treat people as we are, we’re human,” Villa said. “There are a lot of things [people] go through on a day-to-day basis. We go through things behind our smiles and our eyes, and we don’t talk about it. But that doesn’t mean we don’t feel those things… and for me it’s just all about helping people out in any way I can.”  

Spreading positivity is of utmost importance to Villa. He chooses generosity every day with the intention of influencing others to follow in his footsteps.  

“I hope to really try to have an impact in the community,” Villa said. “I try to bring out the best in every person.” 

He advises others to spread positivity as well.  

“Take everything one day at a time and try to spread love and peace where you can and when you can,” Villa said.  

On top of being praised for his kind demeanor, Villa is also admired for his ability to remember everyone’s name. Villa gives credit to his time working in LaPenta’s dining hall. 

“I used to work in LaPenta during the pandemic and it was a different kitchen,” Villa said. “You would just order your food and pick it up, and I was the person that handed off the food. So, it was a lot of one-on-one conversations and I remembered everyone’s name.”  

When asked how he constantly maintains a high energy status, Villa responded “I look to the sun. I really do.” For Villa, the sun is a reminder to keep pushing. 

Villa would also like to give a special shout out to the Starbucks team: Stef, Keysy, Misbah, Pattie, Reina, Chris, Deysi, Kebelyn, Brenda, LeAnne and their manager Arlene.  

“They are more than just a team; we are a family,” Villa said.  

In a world that often feels doomed, Villa’s compassion towards others is a glimpse of hope—and for that Iona University thanks him immensely.