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.
Erin has worked as an educator in settings ranging from farms to public school classrooms and with ages ranging from preschool to 12th grade. She first joined CitySprouts as a FoodCorps Service Member in 2011/12, then returned as a Garden Coordinator in 2014 after pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching. Now as the Middle School Program Manager she gets to focus on the age group she finds most fascinating, fun, and motivated to fight injustice. She sees school gardens as ideal settings for authentic inquiry, deep conversations, emotional healing, and much-needed play. She loves running into youth when on long walks or runs.
Michele has been an environmental educator and youth leader for students throughout New England, and she has worked on a variety of farms in the US and New Zealand. She finds that spending time on farms and in gardens is grounding. Using our hands to farm provides both immediate and long term benefits and gratification- for ourselves, our community, and the earth.She is particularly interested in using the garden as a therapeutic space, offering students routine, a place to practice compassion, and space to redefine success for themselves.Michele joined CitySprouts in 2014 to combine her two passions of farming and youth development, and hopes one day to have goats and chickens in all school gardens. Michele graduated from Bowdoin College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Environmental Studies.
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.
David comes to CitySprouts after serving as a City Year AmeriCorps member in Boston, where he provided academic and socio-emotional support for teens. As a lifelong lover of nature, he has worked at the Duke Lemur Center, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, and Dragon’s Eye Farm in Pahoa, HI. From these experiences, he believes that hands-on, experiential learning is important for developing a love for STEM subjects. He also greatly enjoys cooking, and is excited to introduce students to healthy, organic foods. David graduated from Wake Forest University in 2015, with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology, where he also managed their campus garden.
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.
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.
Bio coming soon!