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 was 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 and a MA in Teaching. As a Teach For America alumnus, she worked first as a science teacher and then Dean of Analytics in Title 1 schools in Chicago before co-founding Gardeneers.  Her experience as a permaculturist and long-time member of grassroots community gardening organizations was the catalyst for her work in food education. May attributes the inspiration for the Gardeneers service model to her several years of direct classroom experience and the students she was privileged to teach and learn from along the way.

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

Nadia Sol Ireri Unzueta Carrasco
OPERATIONS MANAGER

Amanda Fieldman
DIR. OF DEVELOPMENT

Rosie Fitz
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE

Marquise Fox
AMERICORPS SERVICE MEMBER

Emma Freud
AMERICORPS SERVICE MEMBER

Julia Goeke
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Justin Giuliano
AMERICORPS SERVICE MEMBER

Leah Goldboom
PROGRAM MANAGER

Brittany Harthan
PROGRAM MANAGER

Simone Johnson
AMERICORPS SERVICE MEMBER

Jeff Levrant
OPERATIONS MANAGER

Rebecca MacDonald
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Atom Penney
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Annemarie Pulawski
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Taryn Randle
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Alex Rosen
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Nicole Ross
AMERICORPS SERVICE MEMBER

Selma Sims
GARDEN EDUCATOR

Andrew Smith
AMERICORPS SERVICE MEMBER

Alejandra Velasco
AMERICORPS SERVICE MEMBER

Savannah Webb
AMERICORPS SERVICE MEMBER

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