Jane was introduced to school gardens more than fifteen years ago when her children first started kindergarten in the Cambridge Public Schools. As the founding director of CitySprouts in 2001, Jane has been an integral part of building the CitySprouts program in Cambridge and Boston. She grew up with lots of space and time to climb trees, explore her neighborhood and turn compost with her dad in the backyard. Jane is passionate about making sure that all children have the chance to know the natural surroundings where they live, whether that’s country or city. In 2008, Jane was selected as one of six regional Social Innovators by Root Cause Social Innovation Forum. Jane holds a Masters in Communication Studies as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Maine at Orono. Her book, Ripe for Change: Garden-Based Learning in Schools, was published by Harvard Education Press in 2015.
For over a decade, Robyn has focused her work in the realm of urban food systems, food justice, community engagement, and youth empowerment with The Food Project and Grow Pittsburgh. As CitySprouts Program Director, she is excited to focus on garden-based learning and continuing to grow fruitful partnerships with both Cambridge and Boston Public Schools. Robyn is a graduate of The Institute for Nonprofit Management & Leadership and holds a Master of Science in Sustainable Systems from Slippery Rock University and a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric & Film Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program.
Andrea comes to CitySprouts after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Greater Boston area addressing homelessness. She loves the visceral experience of being outdoors and working in soil. Andrea brings her core values of experiential learning, environmental stewardship, and enjoying healthy homegrown meals. Andrea graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Warren Wilson College, a liberal arts college with a fully operational garden and farm in North Carolina. She also holds a Master of Science in European Affairs, Social Policy from Lunds Universitet.
Therecia comes to CitySprouts with a long history of working in education and non-profit organizations. Prior to her experience at Northeastern University where she led evaluation efforts, logistics and meeting planning, she developed curricula and coordinated classes with staff and volunteers as the Operation Frontline Coordinator at Share Our Strength, a national organization working to end childhood hunger. She was also a Case Supervisor at Road to Responsibility, an
organization providing opportunities, means and support to citizens with disabilities. Therecia is an active grower and member of the Food Project’s Dudley Greenhouse and the Greenhouse Advisory Committee and an active member of the City of Cambridge Women’s Commission.
Solomon comes to CitySprouts after being a Youth Worker for Cambridge Youth Programs. He has experience working with both preteen and middle-school youth. Most recently he worked as a liaison between CitySprouts and Cambridge Youth Programs. Solomon is a graduate of the Cambridge Public School system. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a focus in plant ecology and a minor in Classical Studies from Union College where he was a Posse Leadership Scholar. Solomon has also worked at Waltham Fields Community Farm as part of the field crew. He has been an avid gardener for most of his life and feels strongly about access to affordable organic foods for all. He believes that having a personal garden can greatly reduce food costs and hopes to pass on his knowledge to urban youth so that they might garner an interest in sustainable growing practices as well as become stewards for nature and the earth.
Eli Bloch comes to City Sprouts after serving as a MassLIFT Americorps member at Groundwork Somerville. He has worked as an organic farmer in New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts. He has experience working with youth in the Somerville Public Schools and with campers at a summer camp in Vermont. Eli holds a Bachelors Degree in Sustainable Food and Farming from the University of Massachusetts. He thinks school gardens help students develop a lifelong interest in the world around them. He hopes that one day every school will have a garden and a paw paw tree.
Alessandra comes to CitySprouts from the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, where she led after school and summer fitness and nutrition programs, and co-managed the Community Wellness Garden. At EBNHC, she also worked on food access programs such as the East Boston Farmer’s Market, the local CSA program and ran the East Boston Fair Foods site. She is passionate about increasing access to fresh, healthy food for all, as well as minimizing our negative impact on the environment. Alessandra’s love of food and nature comes from spending summers with her family in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Alessandra holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Boston College. Her interests include cooking, swimming, hiking, and anything science fiction. Alessandra is excited to expand her work with food justice and gardening in other communities with CitySprouts.
Annabel started as a FoodCorps service member with CitySprouts back in 2014, and has been growing and working with youth in Boston ever since. Most recently before returning to CitySprouts, Annabel worked as the Farm Manager and Youth Supervisor for Nubia Farms, and as a cook at Mei Mei Restaurant. Annabel feels passionate about connecting people to their culture and heritage through food, and connecting young people to the natural world through growing food. She holds a Masters in Nutrition from Columbia University.
Karl joins CitySprouts after serving in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps as a school garden educator at a small elementary school in Tucson, AZ. His interest in food justice developed through his undergraduate studies in the Philosophy, Politics, & the Public program at Xavier University, during which time he also worked at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati. He recently completed his Masters in Food Systems & Policy within the Gastronomy program at Boston University. Karl is excited about integrating social studies and STEM subjects in garden-based lessons, and always looks forward to the first tomatoes of the season.
Johanna’s academic background combines agriculture, environmental protection and education*. After working with farming communities in El Salvador, Belize and Haiti for short periods of time, she moved on to garden-based education in California. Johanna believes in agriculture’s role in empowering under-privileged communities and creating a more socially and environmentally just society. ¡Hablo español! Mwen pale kreyòl!
Raji comes to CitySprouts through the Massachusetts Service Alliances Commonwealth Corps program. Over the next year of service with CitySprouts she is looking forward to learning about gardening and pedagogy, and sharing her passion for STEAM, cooking and food justice with youth in the CitySprouts middle school program. Raji has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, India and a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University in New York. She has worked for over a decade as a software engineer and technical lead. She has volunteered since high school with organizations in India dedicated to environmental issues and socio-economic justice. She has volunteered as a middle school Math tutor in WA and as a high school Computer Science teacher in MA. She currently volunteers with The Trustees of Massachusetts, and with Horizons for Homeless Childrens playspace program.