Growing School Gardens

We exist to give Chicago students in food desert communities equal access to healthy food and food education.

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OUR STORY
Like most Teach for America alumni, Adam Zmick and May Tsupros first taught in under-resourced high schools. Their experiences working in food desert communities lead them to realize how vital healthy food was to their students' growth, both in and out of the classroom. 

After one of May’s students, a high school senior, couldn’t identify a blueberry, she began to consider what her students were eating. Through first-hand observations, she witnessed how lack of healthy food was an obstacle to her students’ success. May needed a way for her students to take ownership of their nutrition.

Adam worked with a student who struggled in the classroom but flourished outside in the school garden. On the last garden day she was quite upset and worried her new school wouldn’t have a garden. It’s then that Adam knew: no matter where a student goes to school, everyone should have a garden program.

In the fall of 2013, Adam and May met and joined forces to, just months later, found Gardeneers. Designed to give students in food desert communities equal access to healthy fruits and vegetables, Gardeneers is dedicated to school garden education in Chicago.

About Us

Gardeneers is the only Chicago-based nonprofit providing full-service, customized school garden programs with on-going support. When schools lack the time and resources to sustain garden programs, we ensure their success.

OUR PILLARS

MEET OUR TEAM

MAY TSUPROS
CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
May has an undergraduate degree in Conservation Ecology and Biology from Indiana University and a MA in Teaching. As a Teach For America alumnus, she worked as a science teacher and Head of Analytics in Title 1 schools in Chicago for seven years before coming on full time with Gardeneers. As a co-founder, May has been with the organization since the beginning and greatly attributes the inspiration for her input from the students she had the honor of teaching back in her ‘early years’.

ADAM ZMICK
CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Adam has an undergraduate degree in Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Adam is a Teach For America alumnus who served as a science teacher at a Title 1 school in St. Louis before going to Harvard. Adam continued his educational journey through fellowships at three start-ups before co-founding a nonprofit himself. The concept for the Gardeneers service model was his idea—inspired by his experience in the classroom and with successful nonprofits.

STAFF

Ann Baltzer
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Nadia Sol Ireri Unzueta Carrasco
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Amanda Fieldman
DIR. OF DEVELOPMENT

Rosie Fitz
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE

Marquise Fox
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Courtney Frederick
ASST. DIR. OF DEVELOPMENT

Julia Goeke
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Leah Goldboom
HIVE MANAGER

Brittany Harthan
HIVE MANAGER

Jeff Levrant
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Rebecca MacDonald
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Carolina Macias
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Atom Penney
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Annemarie Pulawski
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Taryn Randle
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Jared Reddrick
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Alex Rosen
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Joseph Seidman
GARDEN EDUCATOR

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