THIS IS US

Community
Connectors

In 2013, our founders, May Tsupros and Adam Zmick teamed up to create Gardeneers after witnessing the impact of food within the schools they taught. Their mission was to give students access to healthy foods in schools in food-insecure neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

Since our founding, our sense of mission has evolved. We see our work as social and racial justice work in the form of school garden education. You might notice we don’t use “food desert”. The food inequity we see in our city, and across the country, isn’t a result of natural, ecological conditions, but rather deeply rooted racism.

This is why our talented and passionate Garden Educators ground their lessons in the fact that growing one’s own food is a form of power, and a powerful way indeed to support one’s own community.

Our hope is that one day every human has easy access to fresh, nourishing foods and all communities are healthy and sustainable.

OUR MISSION

Cultivating customized school garden programs

Gardeneers works with Chicago’s South- and Westside schools and communities to contribute positively to the larger food system. We do this by supporting youth in our school garden and farm programs to build their own knowledge, skills, and habits to become leaders who care for themselves, their environment, and their communities.

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1800+

Students

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200+

Volunteers

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19+

Schools

OUR TEAM

Staff

Selma Sims

Chief Executive Officer + Head Grower

I am a Gardeneer because I want to be the change in the food system I

Adam Zmick

Adam Zmick

Director of Maintenance + Innovation

I am a Gardeneer because I envision a healthier, more sustainable, and more just future that

Alexy Irving

Garden Educator

I am a Gardeneer because accumulating knowledge is useless if it isn’t shared with the youth.

Cecilia Jordan

Assistant Farm Manager

I am a Gardeneer because I believe in the importance of reconnecting youth with nature.

Leah Goldbloom

Director of AmeriCorps Program

I am a Gardeneer because it gives me life to watch people and plants grow together.

Rebecca MacDonald

Director of Curriculum + Learning

I am a Gardeneer because growing food is the ultimate connection to the earth, your body,

Alexis Burnley

Garden Educator + Development Coordinator

I am a Gardeneer because I want to empower our youth to be agents of change in their

OUR TEAM

Volunteer

About

Ian Patete

AmeriCorps Service Member

About

Janet Lopez

AmeriCorps Service Member

I am a Gardeneer because gardening is the most political act of defiance against the racist US food system

About

Max Meyers

AmeriCorps Service Member

I am a Gardeneer because I love growing and eating food, and I think there’s no better place to do it than right here in Chicago.

About

Sherman Lofton

AmeriCorps Service Member

About

Amari Brooks

AmeriCorps Service Member

I am a Gardeneer because gardening is the most political act of defiance against the racist US food system

About

Amanda Berry

AmeriCorps Service Member

I am a Gardeneer because I deeply believe in spaces which connect a multitude of people, passions, equity, and food.

About

Leah Goldbloom

Director of AmeriCorps Program

I am a Gardeneer because it gives me life to watch people and plants grow together.

About

Kristina Guccione

AmeriCorps Service Member

I am a Gardeneer because food is life.

OUR TEAM

Board +
Aux. Board

Karen Malkin

KAREN MALKIN HEALTH COUNSELING

FOUNDER

May Tsupros

Sun Tree Collaboration

FOUNDER

Kevin Werner

RENOVO FINANCIAL

CEO + FOUNDER

Dr. Ron Whitmore

EDUCATOR

Wayne Williams

OAKTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Principal

Jess Zander

Founder, Propelling Good

Amy Zemnick

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Adam Zmick

GARDENEERS

CO-FOUNDER

Julie Cross

Workday

Aux. Board

Ashely Dodge

College Greenlight

Aux. Board

Alex Feldgreber

New City Hospitality Group

Aux. Board

Lauren Lappin

Lauren Lappin Designs

Aux. Board

June Lee

Patagonia

Aux. Board

Jason Lietz

Willis Tower Watson

Aux. Board

Chrissy McNulty

Northwestern Medicine

Aux. Board

Catherine Muellner

Sluggers

Aux. Board

Jonathan Paul

Harrison Street

Aux. Board

Emily Pauls

Delta Dental Plans Association

Aux. Board

Nick Seaer

Mars, Inc.

Aux. Board

Shelly Sital

Clinic Directors Network

Aux. Board

Ashley Marie Sutherland

Industrial Council for Nearwest Chicago

Aux. Board

Brett Tsupros

Coyote Logistics/UPS

Aux. Board

Tedd Warden

Morgan Lewis

Aux. Board