Stephanie Cordova, Youth Employment Program Manager

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 youth leader of the mobile market leader in summer 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.


Darya Mattes, Mystic River Urban Waters Federal Partnership Ambassador

Darya supports the Mystic River Watershed Steering Committee as the Ambassador for the Mystic River Urban Waters Federal Partnership. In that role, she will be supporting municipalities, nonprofits (including Groundwork Somerville), and state and federal agencies as they collaborate to improve water quality in and community access to the Mystic River. Prior to this role, Darya worked as an environmental planner and conservation agent for the City of Salem, MA, and she previously worked on climate change resiliency initiatives in the City of Medford’s Office of Energy and Environment. She has a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and a BA in Anthropology and History from Cornell University. Darya lives in Watertown (at the very edge of the Mystic River watershed), and spends her spare time gardening in her community garden plot, singing in a local women’s chorus, and serving on the boards of both of those organizations. She bikes as her primary form of transportation and appreciates your suggestions for good bike routes and new trails to try.


Emily Reckard-Mota, Food and Farms Manager
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.



Patricha Paul, Bookkeeper




We are lucky to work with interns and committed volunteers who make our programming possible! Read on to learn about the amazing group we have working and learning with us this academic year:


Coming Soon


Green Team and Green Team Leaders

The Green Team are Groundwork Somerville employees and the main workforce behind our food production at South Street Farm. The Green Team also carries out Groundwork’s mission by supporting environmental restoration projects in the City, and contributing a youth voice on issues of environmental justice, food access, and health equity to civic processes in the city. Green Team Members can go on to be Assistant Leaders once they have completed a season with the Green Team. Read more about the Green Team here.

Groundwork also brings on a phenomenal team of Green Team Leaders each summer in order to lead crews, work sites, projects, and more. Green Team Leaders are often college students or other folks who have been out of high school for a year or more and are interested in building their skills as youth leaders, urban farmers, and agents for social change. We especially love when we can hire Green Team Alumni as Green Team Leaders! Thank you to our team of Green Team Leaders in 2019!

(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)

Mentor Farmers

As part of our World Crops Project, we are lucky to work with several Mentor Farmers, members of the Somerville community who bring agricultural expertise from their home countries outside of the U.S. Our Mentor Farmers advise the rest of the Groundwork staff as well as the Green Team in how to plant, care for, and harvest our World Crops. These crops are vegetables and fruits that have been requested by members of the immigrant communities here. This produce is common to food cultures of Somerville’s immigrant communities and may be harder to find in major grocery stores. Mentor Farmers are hired as consultants during the growing season, and pass on their expertise and stories to Green Team members through intergenerational exchange. In 2018 we were able to expand to have a team of five Mentor Farmers:



Antonio Alcantara

Originally from Brazil


Primary crop: jiló



Luc Francois

Originally from Haiti

Primary crops: lalo, okra, hot peppers



Kawsar Jahan

Originally from Bangladesh

Primary crops: callaloo, long beans, lao gourd



Emma Ramos

Originally from El Salvador

Primary crops: culantro, hierba mora, epazote, beans



Maryann Vo

Originally from Vietnam

Primary crops: water spinach, bitter melon, herbs






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