Main Idea

Joy Rachelle Murrieta

In recognition of her work as a community leader, Joy received the City of Worcester’s Division of Youth Opportunities 2021 Youth Champion Award, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s 2020 Young Professional Nonprofit Excellence Award, and the 2020 Katharine F. Erskine Award for Arts & Culture. She is a graduate of the 2019 Leadership Worcester class and the 2021 Philanthropy MA’s Nonprofit Learning Institute. Joy is a Co-founder of Main IDEA and lived as a resident of the Main South neighborhood for three years; she served as Board Member and volunteer for the organization for seven years before stepping into her role of Executive Director in 2018. Joy is proud of her Mexican heritage, and is a member of the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition, whose mission is to eradicate the racial inequities among women of color.


Joy received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance at Crown College in 2009. In May 2018, she graduated from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (Tufts University) with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management, as well from Clark University, receiving her Certificate in Nonprofit Youth Work as part of the International Development, Community, and Environment Program. She has also served as a Panelist for the Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference (2017), a Board Member for the Women in Development of Central Massachusetts (2018-20), and is a current member of the Young Professional Women’s Association of Worcester, the YWCA of Central Massachusetts, and Board Member for the Worcester Cultural Coalition.


In addition to her nonprofit experience, Joy previously worked as a children’s music teacher for 10 years, most recently at the Worcester Music Academy (WMA), teaching voice, piano, and guitar for ages 6-17. Joy was the co-founder of several of the WMA’s performance groups, including the Youth Rock Bands, Girls A Cappella Group, and Sing-and-Play classes. Joy is also an established music artist, and has performed throughout Worcester County since 2011 as a solo musician, particularly in the Canal District, as well as for several local festivals and events. Additionally, Joy has been an active dancer since college, taking classes and performing in ballet, modern, lyrical-contemporary, salsa, hip hop, and breakdancing styles, and is a current member of the Dance Movement Worcester dance company.


By combining her love of the arts with her passion for enriching the lives of Worcester’s youth, Joy strives to be a positive influence on the cultivation of the city’s music and arts scene by inspiring, encouraging, and empowering the city’s next generation.



Women on Wednesdays: “Women of Worcester” Honoree & First Pitch

August 18, 2021 | Worcester Red Sox

Each Wednesday, the WooSox shine the spotlight on a woman who is making contributions in the community, with the opportunity to throw the ceremonial first pitch of the game.

Service to Youth Award: Youth Champion

April 2021 | City of Worcester’s Division of Youth Opportunities

This is an award that is provided to those who have shown exceptional dedication and commitment in advancing the holistic wellbeing of youth in Worcester. Joy Murrieta was selected for her demonstrated commitment to empower & support youth to be their own agents of change, and as a leader who exemplifies understanding of both the day-to-day and systemic concerns that impact Worcester’s youth.

Katharine F. Erskine Award

Sept 2020 | YWCA of Central Massachusetts

“The 2020 class of Katharine F. Erskine Award recipients…have opened doors for young women and people of color and have broken down barriers for future generations of female leaders. They have affected real change in their communities and inspire others to follow suit. The Katharine F. Erskine Award recognizes women who have demonstrated leadership and reached exemplary levels of achievement in their professions and communities. Recipients who a commitment to the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”


Nonprofit Excellence Award: Young Professional

June 2020 | Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

The Young Professional Excellence Award recognizes an emerging nonprofit professional who has made a significant contribfution to their organization through their vision, innovation, interpersonal skills, and hard work. Nominees have a demonstrated ability to:

  1. Consistently go above and beyond their job description to address needs or challenges in their organization and/or community
  2. Show a passion for and dedication to their organization’s missions and the communities that they serve
  3. Overcome obstacles to grow and succeed in their role
  4. Produce meaningful and measurable outcomes through their vision, innovation, interpersonal skills, and hard work

Conductor of the Community Award

April 2019 | Worcester Railers HC

The Conductors of the Community program, presented by the Massachusetts State Lottery, is designed to honor individuals who have made a significant and positive impact in the Worcester community. The Conductors of the Community award is presented to individuals who, through their dedicated commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions to our community. Learn more here.

The Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Awards: “Outstanding Entrepreneur”

Jan 2018 | Women in Action, Inc.

The Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Award Ceremony honors outstanding entrepreneurs in Massachusetts that show dedication, growth, and positive contribution to their communities. The Mayor of Worcester Joe Petty and Senator Michael Moore and other officials in attendance. Learn more here.

WBJ “40 Under 40” Award

Aug 2017 | Worcester Business Journal

“What goal do you set for yourself at the start of every workday? Not let fear be the reason I don’t go after something, be gracious with myself and remember to pace myself!”  Learn more here.

2017’s People to Watch

Jan 2017 | Pulse Magazine

“I want to be someone who advocates as much as I possibly can for the community around me,” she said. ‘I don’t want to settle for less.” Learn more here.