Ileana Mar hails from the concrete swamp-lands of Washington, D.C. Her stewardship and love affair with DC urban trees propelled her into the science of Botany, which she pursued in the forests of Connecticut, with an anthropological focus. Her education continued in farmlands of southeast Austria and later at the University of California Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Santa Cruz. Her passion and commitment is to the development of resilient and equitable communities; with her hands in the soil she looks to share in the cultivation of bonds to make this possible.
Herman Yee grew up in San Francisco and feels fortunate to enjoy going to the playground, the Academy of Sciences and to other places and exploring Golden Gate Park. Both his parents worked around food, so he always remembered eating well as a child, whether from produce or food coming from his dad’s clients, or his mother intrepidly feeding her family. Being in the back of groceries, supermarkets, and restaurants helped him appreciate all the work that goes into food. Herman started gardening in a class at UC Berkeley. When not looking at insects in the microscope for another class, he was starting seeds in the greenhouse, learning about food and farming by visiting and later working at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, and cooking all the produce from local farmers and producers. He has started and worked in various gardens in community and school settings in the Bay Area and is interested in connecting with communities around nourishing food.
Adriana enjoys the natural landscape the Bay Area has to offer. Hiking, running and biking has drawn her closer to something that brings many peace and joy, nature! She has been an educator for the past 12 years and her love for gardening grew into pursing a future in it. She obtained her Horticulture Certificate at CCSF and worked as a landscape gardener in the city. Her favorites are propagating plants, designing small gardens, and sharing the harvest. She is committed to the food justice movement because she believes that the choice to have good health is a right. She is also for building networks and bonds that will help flourish the community garden effort.
L. Roy Spence
Community Programs Manager
Lauren Roy Spence (L. Roy) was born and raised in Oxnard, CA, where the strawberries grow. Growing up around agriculture, L. Roy never lost their connection to our natural resources. Blending their passion for social and environmental justice, L. Roy has committed their work to creating healthier and equitable spaces within urban environments. L. Roy looks at the world through a radical black queer lens and strives to create more inclusive environments for marginalized communities. For the past several years, L. Roy has centered their work around environmental education, youth development, and community building. Before joining Urban Sprouts, they had been developing and implementing environmental education programs throughout California. They are an advocate, activist, and educator who constantly strives to maintain people’s connection to the natural world. Their understanding of the intersections of social justice, environmental justice, and food justice has led them to work with Urban Sprouts.
Community Health Educator
Violeta Sandoval emigrated from El Salvador to San Francisco five years ago. She studied Culinary Arts and Odontology, and has extensive training in working at the community level to advocate for healthier lifestyles. As a volunteer with Urban Sprouts (previous to her employment), Jamestown Community Center, Fresh Approach, and CARECEN, Violeta has brought valuable skills, knowledge, and resources to her community. She has a strong track record in creating practical and understandable programs that make effective change in lowering rates of diabetes, cholesterol, and obesity in her Latina/Latino community in San Francisco.
Audrey is a Bay Area native and hails from the once robust community of farmers who tended land in the Valley of Heart’s Delights, now more commonly known as Silicon Valley. This connection to land, food, and culture has guided her work as community organizer, educator, and advocate over the past 23 years. She has worked with Urban Sprouts since 2009, serving as their Executive Director for the last 3 years.
Dakota Hafalia Yackel
The Urban Sprouts Advisory Board
Jenny Park • Amika Bist • Brandon Oldham • Rachel Russell • Heather Murphy • Elisa Baier • Kelley Devanathan • Priscilla Parrett