Staff

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Alexandra Lennon-Simon

Executive Director

Alex joins Groundwork Somerville after years of work in youth development and urban agriculture. A native city kid born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Alex grew up going to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens as a child and continued working there as an educator, passionately connecting city youth to the natural world. Also near and dear to Alex’s heart are issues of social and racial justice, graduating from Bard College with a BA in American Studies and Studies in Race & Ethnicity, with a specific focus on racial and class-based inequities. Alex previously worked at Waltham Fields Community Farm as the Education Director, expanding the education programs, and running a mobile market for low-income Waltham families. Alex is overjoyed to join the Groundwork Somerville team! Outside of work, Alex keeps two beehives, enjoys hiking and camping with her two dogs, embroidery, gardening, and live theater.

Stephanie Cordova

Youth Employment Program Director 

Stephanie is the manager of the Green Team youth program and has been working with Groundwork Somerville for the last two summers. She joined us as the mobile market leader in the summer of 2018 and the farm site leader/co-facilitator in summer 2019. She graduated from Somerville High in 2012 and from UMASS Amherst in 2020 with a BS in Sustainable Food and Farming and a focus on social justice reform, food equity, and feminist studies. Stephanie has been involved with farm work for the past 5 years and continues to advocate for healthy food access in her hometown of Somerville. Stephanie is thrilled to continue working with her own community and looks forward to growing food, empowering youth, and pursuing environmental and health equity with the Green Team. Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys painting murals with Cambridge artist, David Fichter, as well as reading books and snuggling her cat, Haku.

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Tatijana Ollivierre

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Hey, my name is Tati. I’m a rising senior at Tufts University studying Interdisciplinary Studies which is my own personalized major; it’s a combination of Africana Studies, Child Studies & Human Development, and Psychology and it is officially titled: The Construction of Blackness and its Effects on the Cognitive Development of Black Youth. This past year I’ve been abroad to three different countries; I went to France for seven weeks during the summer, Ghana for first semester and London for second, though I had to return early because of COVID-19. While I was on campus at Tufts I was part of an all girls comedy club and heavily involved with the black and first-gen communities. Outside of school I really enjoy cooking and baking and listening to music. As of lately I’ve been really into Afro-beats, old school Reggae, and femme rap artists such as Rico Nasty and Megan Thee Stallion. This summer I’m super excited to be back at Groundwork, especially to be able to bring my love of cooking to the table. I would love to show fellow Green Team staff and crew accessible and tasty recipes that utilize the fresh produce from the farm!

Emily Reckard-Mota

Food and Farms Manager and Educator

Emily comes to Groundwork Somerville with a diverse background in education and sustainable agriculture. She discovered the world of sustainable agriculture during her gap year, while volunteering on a WWOOF farm in Peru. Originally from North Carolina, she graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. During college, Emily worked at Transplanting Traditions Community Farm, where she supported refugee farmers in growing and selling vegetables from Myanmar. Emily has taught cooking and gardening education to young people at the NC Botanical Gardens, Mundo Verde PCS in Washington, D.C., and most recently at various Boston Public Schools with Green City Growers. Emily loves being barefoot outside and values the ways that growing food deepens her faith and connection to God. She is passionate about fighting against racism in our food system and has learned a lot from Soul Fire Farm and The Food Project. Out of a desire to connect her faith to her work, Emily strives to keep justice and mercy at the center of her farming practices. In her free time, Emily enjoys making nature mandalas, reading, and hiking with friends.

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Kate Schreiber

Communications Coordinator

Kate comes to Groundwork with a background in farming, education, and communications. She grew up in Western Massachusettes, and has spent many summers working on farms across New England. In addition to growing things and spending time outside, Kate loves painting, reading and writing; she graduated from Dartmouth College in 2019 with a degree in Studio Art and literature.  Kate first joined Groundwork as a TerraCorps member in 2020, and is excited to be back on staff!

Nakiba Minahan

Food and Farms Intern

I am Sayeda Nakiba Minahan. I am currently a freshman in college. Green Team was my first job when I was a freshman in high school. Since then I have been more aware of the communities around me. I am orginally from Bangladesh and have been living in the US for about 6 years. Because of Green Team I was able to explore some of the best places in the world, such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. In the future I wish to share the knowledge I earned from Groundwork Somerville with younger generations back in Bangladesh.

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Leija Helling

Tufts Tisch Scholar

Hey, my name is Leija and I'm a junior at Tufts University studying Biology and Environmental Studies. I am passionate about nurturing curiosity through environmental education and I'm particularly interested in inclusive ways of practicing, teaching, and communicating science. I grew up in Western Massachusetts working on farms, in kitchens, and with kids in and outside of the classroom. For the past year, I worked on a grassroots environmental health campaign fighting to put people's interests over profits (check it out at chej.org). Some of my favorite things to do besides spying on bugs and going after corporate polluters are reading, playing ultimate frisbee, and spending time with young people. I'm pumped to grow food, push for environmental justice, and make hands-on science education more accessible at Groundwork. See you in the garden!

Green Team

Green Team Members are Groundwork Somerville employees and the main workforce behind our food production at South Street Farm. They also help care for our school gardens, lead projects to better our community, and generally work to make Somerville a cleaner, greener, healthier, and more equitable city.  Read more about the Green Team here.

If you are interested in being part of this team, check our Jobs & Internships page for openings or our Green Team page for information about applying. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, reach out directly to info@groundworksomerville.org for general inquiries or any of the team members in the “Staff” section above for questions about specific programs.

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(From left to right; Green Team Member unless otherwise noted)

Top row: Amilcar Ramirez, Silas Nahan, Wardley Lervandal, Will Capriola (Offsite Projects Leader), Jashaura Victor, Nataina Saint-Cyr, Sabiha Miahjee (Assistant Farm Leader), Gabby Pimentel, Berkti Gebrehiwet, Mathurin Joseph; Middle row: Saladin Islam (Crew Leader), Katherine Hill (Crew Leader), Kaelan Diaz, Jenifer Fuentes (Assistant Crew Leader), Aaron Pen, Marlis Occilant (Assistant Bike Leader), Elida Aviles, Stephanie Cordova (Farm Leader & Assistant GT Coordinator), Erik Salazar (Assistant Leader), Elias Arevalo; Bottom row: Darron Fernandes-Smith (Bike Leader), Tirhas Gebru, Isaias Hernandez Rivera (Assistant Crew Leader), Jaeleigh McLean, Silvia Arriaza (Market Leader), Rae Axner (Program Manager)