Get to know some of our staff and long-time volunteers!

I got set to a path of gradualism, because you can’t change behavior right away. It’s a slow modelling and modification. Now I know that the work we do is gradual, like evolution gradual. Like, we want this to be in our kids’ grandkids’ blood gradual.”

Rahn Broady

Lead Garden Educator
Arthur Ashe Charter School
with ESYNOLA since 2010
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“We have middle school students who have been learning in the garden since Kindergarten. They have a way of going about their daily life that’s been hugely impacted by ESY. They love fruits and vegetables. They may not go out to the farmers market to buy fruits and vegetables, but they never say no to them because they’ve grown up with them.”

Zach O’Donnell

Lead Garden Educator
Samuel J. Green Charter School
with ESYNOLA since 2012
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I notice an ability and willingness to love the kids and do everything possible to keep them on the task of learning and gardening and being in the kitchen, and being able to learn to try new things, to do it a little bit better.”

Richard Ashmore

Kitchen Class Volunteer
Samuel J. Green Charter School
with ESYNOLA since 2008
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“I think the fact that I didn’t start cooking until I was in my 20s, and totally taught myself and fell in love with it myself, has been invaluable to me because I feel I can see it from the kids’ perspective.”

Megan Brummer

Lead Chef Educator
Samuel J. Green Charter School
with ESYNOLA since 2012
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Hopefully, it instills in them not only a love for food, but this whole gathering aspect that’s a beautiful communal aspect of living.”

Phillip Lowrie

Kitchen Class Volunteer
Arthur Ashe Charter School
with ESYNOLA since 2015
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On one of my first days volunteering at Ashe and I was weeding the kale beds where the greenhouse is now. A second grader came up to me, demanding to know what I was doing to her beloved kale. “Oh I’m helping it, I’m weeding it,” I said. She was like, “don’t hurt my kale.” When she walked off I was like, What is happening here? I can’t believe this kid knows what kale is and that she cares so much about it. It was mind-blowing.”

Marsha Bard

Site Gardener & Greenhouse Manager
Samuel J. Green Charter School
with ESYNOLA since 2013
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“When I was a kid, I had a garden in my backyard and also at my school. I could explore a worm bin, pick fresh strawberries. But since it was a part of my upbringing I didn’t think anything of it. There was a moment later when I realized I had always found so much joy in watching plants grow, and then I saw children find the same wonder in the garden. If I can give just a little bit of that to kids,… dang, what a dream job.”

Marlena Nip

Associate Garden Educator
Phillis Wheatley Community School
with ESYNOLA since 2018
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