CURRENT TEAM MEMBERS
With a diverse background in agriculture and community garden education programs particularly in Central America and experience in the Peace Corp, Jason leads the team at Growing Gardens by providing leadership, resources, training and oversight for all staff. (Pronouns: he/him)
Iva spent years working markets for California farms and tutoring writing before starting to work for social justice organizations. New to Portland, she is excited to be a part of an organization that builds community food sovereignty and is committed to dismantling racism. Iva is a big nerd for science fiction, their 2 dogs, the ocean and trying to learn from their mistakes. (Pronouns: she/they)
Virtual Education & Technology manager
Emily has been part of Growing Gardens team for 6 years, recently moving from her role as the Home Gardens Director, to the manager of virtual education and technology. Before that she spent 8 years working on and managing small scale farms. Growing food helps her feel connected to people and the land, and helping other people learn to grow food is one of her biggest joys. (Pronouns: she/her)
Lettuce Grow Program Director
A Native American, Rima has experienced both foster care and incarceration. After a 30 year career in high-tech, Rima returned to her first love, gardening and working with individuals caught up in the correctional system. Rima directs the Lettuce Grow program which provides garden education to inmates in correctional institutions and juvenile facilities throughout the state of Oregon. (Pronouns: she/her)
lettuce grow program coordinator
With a younger brother currently serving a life sentence in prison, Mirabai and her family have experienced the effects of incarceration. Through her work with Lettuce Grow, Black Food Sovereignty Coalition, and Black Futures Farm, Mirabai remains active in the pursuit of creative and restorative justice in personal and community contexts. (Pronouns: she/her)
Home Gardens Director
As a native Portlander, Rashae knows the city inside and out. She loves promoting health and gardening within the community. With over 20 years of health care experience, she has a vast knowledge of preventative care, chronic illness and social determinants of health. Rashae started our program as a Home Gardens participant to foster a healthy lifestyle. She became a community organizer in the North Portland region in 2018 and has been instrumental in helping marginalized communities improve their lives through gardening. (Pronouns: she/they)
Home Gardens Manager
Antonio joined the Growing Huertos program in 2014 and quickly became one of the program’s most dedicated volunteers, helping with installations and site visits, hosting workshops, and mentoring new gardeners. He has a great passion for agriculture and community education.
Community Organizer – Cully
Isabel joined the Home Gardens program in 2005 and quickly became one of its biggest supporters. She loves growing her own food at home, raising chickens, and spending time with her plants. She is a teacher for Oregon’s Food Bank’s Siembra La Cena (Seed to Supper) garden education course and a Promotor de Salud (Health Promoter). She has led many classes on growing your own vegetables, nutritional health, and healthy cooking. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Community Coordinator – GRESHAM
Angelica Cortes Mejia was born in Mexico and has lived in Portland for 12 years. Her favorite part of her role is helping people in her community grow and sustain their own source of vegetables and fruits. Her favorite part about having her garden is sharing what she harvests with her neighbors and building strong community relations through food. (Pronouns: she/her)
Community Organizer – North PoRTLAND
Camilo’s roots began in Colima, Mexico where he was born. As a child, he worked in the fields and later came to the United States. Camilo’s passions include helping families with limited resources, being involved in his community and spending time with his family and three children.
Community Organizer – North PORTLAND
Cat is a first-generation Vietnamese-
Community Coordinator – Clackamas
Gabi Villaseñor is an artist, avid gardener and advocate for the positive effects that can come from growing your own food, flowers and healthy habitats for other species. Originally from Southern California, Gabi has lived and gardened in the Pacific Northwest since 2007. Her art practice involves set design, ceramics and painting, each of which take inspiration from the natural world. She is currently enrolled in a Psychology program at PCC in hopes of becoming an art therapist, specializing in the nurturing and beneficial effects that our green environment and gardening has on our mental health. (Pronouns: she/her)
Community Coordinator – GRESHAM
Community Organizer - Milwaukie
Carolina Barroso started with Growing Gardens as a volunteer. She has been working as part of the team for about 2 years and feel so happy to interact with the plants with the earth. It makes her even happier because her family learns from what she learns at Growing Gardens. She feels happy to help her gardeners learn how to be happy with plants and give them love because if you have love for plants and animals you will have love for everyone!! She believes that by working with plants, you can end the stress of each person and help you live a happy life.
Youth Grow Program Director
Anna directs the Growing Gardens Youth Grow program, which teaches children how to grow, prepare and learn to love eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Her background is in managing a sustainable development nonprofit that helps rural communities around the world access clean water, renewable energy and healthy watersheds. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and watching her daughters grow by leaps and bounds.
Youth Grow manager
As the Youth Grow Coordinator/Educator, Amoreena supports other garden coordinators and educators create successful and engaging garden-based programs for many schools and their students. Working with other adults to expand opportunities for students to learn outside is her number one professional goal. She comes to Youth Grow with a Master’s degree in Education and 15 years of teaching experience, both indoors and out. When she’s not out in school gardens, you might find her with her family, or at the dojo teaching a weekly Ki-Aikido children’s class. (Pronouns: she/her)
Davis/Glenfair Youth Grow Educator
Kelly/Whitman Youth Grow Educator
Youth Grow Educator
Patrick Lynch / Powell Butte Youth Grow Educator
Faubion Elementary Youth Grow Educator
Powell Butte School Garden Coordinator & Bilingual Educator
Coming from Puebla Mexico, Angela’s first language is Spanish but has lived in the United States for the past 19 years. She loves children and being out in the nature, admiring flowers, planting fruits and vegetables and the like. Combining these two loves makes her an excellent community organizer for our Powell Butte neighborhood. She loves helping others become more self-sufficient through gardening and appreciating nature.
Kelly And Whitman School Garden Coordinator
Lent School Garden Coordinator
Food Systems Educator David Douglas High School
As a Food Systems Educator at David Douglas High School and Ockley Green Middle School, Jess supports students to grow their own food, learn how to cook that food, and address food insecurity in their communities. Jess comes to Growing Gardens with a passion for co-creating restorative outdoor experiences with youth. Outside of work, Jess enjoys taking care of her friends and family and starting ambitious crafting projects. (Pronouns: she/they)