To Top

Meet Joy McElveen of Joy Is Everywhere

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy McElveen.

Joy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up in South Carolina, I was always the young girl who was adventurous and bold. I loved playing sports and was very much a people person. As my mother always said, I definitely named her the right name. JOY. And inside I had a big heart and a big smile to go with it. My mother, who is my biggest inspiration and fan. She would encourage me to try it all!!!

The sky is the limit of joy and with God, all things are possible. So with her incredible support, I set out on a mission to do just that. I left South Carolina and moved to New York where I became a runway and print model. Just when I thought that New York would become my permanent home opportunities came for film and television that moved me to Los Angeles where I am currently living.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road at all. It has a been a road of faith, determination, perseverance, and consistency. Trial and error and I have made many mistakes along this journey. Everything is about timing and I have learned I don’t want anything that is not for me. One of the struggles I have experienced is the inner voice being loud, anxiety and anxiousness. The one that made me question whether or not I am worthy of this, when is it going to be my season, self-doubt and fear of failure. I just knew I could not quit and go back to South Carolina. Because in my eyes that would mean I had failed. So I made a choice to do the work and the work for me consisted of therapy, healing from past traumas, and having a strong and supportive tribe. When I first moved out here, I knew I needed a tribe. I knew that being far away from the East Coast and family, I would need that. So I am extremely grateful for the relationships and bonds I have been able to cultivate. I know if it had not been for my tribe, I would not be here. I call all my male friends My Kings and my girlfriends are my Queens and Sisters. And together, we want to see all of us not just survive but thrive.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a model, actress, and children play specialist. Some of my film and tv credits include the Emmy Award-Winning Digital Series Giants, by James Bland executive produced by Issa Rae, OWN’S Queen Sugar, Netflix Friends From College, ABC Single Parents, YouTube Hit Series Poz Roz. I have modeled and appeared in commercials and print for Walmart, Verizon Wireless, and McDonald’s, I am the founder of Joy Is Everywhere Inc. which is non-profit organization that ensures that all children, no matter what their socioeconomic background can experience Joy and real connection through the arts with empowerment and play.

I am so proud of myself because for a long time, I thought my love for children was a side hustle but then it became a passion and purpose. When I started seeing the effect that my joy was bringing to children and families, I knew It was bigger than me. Along with my foundation, I have created Playdates with Joy. It’s my own company where families can hire me to come and entertain and mentor their children. Some of my skills include one on one coaching in basketball, enrichment camps, and host children parties. I know what makes me different from others is my authenticity and mindfulness and my huge heart and love for children. It is a pure magical feeling. When you hire me, you are getting a full Joy Experience which will have a lasting impression on your entire family. No one can bring the joy that I bring.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was truly my name. I was involved in sports, beauty pageants, student council. I loved people and I loved leadership which came from my mother who is a retired Sergeant Major in Military. I always had a big smile. Music is a huge love and part of my life. I song on the choirs in church and school. I never was a child who was just sitting around. I needed to be busy all the time. I had so much energy so my mother made sure I had outlets. I was very fortunate that I got to start traveling early. At 15 years old, I represented the US overseas playing basketball in People to People Sports Ambassador. So I got to experience different cultures which opened my heart and mind to so much.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Joy Is Everywhere Inc.
    6311 Van Nuys Blvd suite 401
    Van Nuys, CA 91401
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @Joysmcelveen
  • Facebook: Joycelyn McElveen
  • Twitter: @joyous1017

Image Credit:

Royal Binion, Cynthia Shaffer, Bee Trofort, Pawel Pogorzelski, C&H Agency

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in