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.
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:
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)
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:
Originally from Brazil
Primary crop: jiló
Originally from Haiti
Primary crops: lalo, okra, hot peppers
Originally from Bangladesh
Primary crops: callaloo, long beans, lao gourd
Originally from El Salvador
Primary crops: culantro, hierba mora, epazote, beans
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 email@example.com for general inquiries or any of the team members in the “Staff” section above for questions about specific programs.