Katherine Soll, CEO/Director. Kathy Soll believes that all New Yorkers should be committed to ending hunger, food insecurity and poor nutrition in one of the world’s greatest cities and that connecting youth to this mission and each other is a critical part of achieving that goal. Teens for Food Justice was built on the concept that hands-on volunteering and helping others builds character and creates a unique level-playing field where people of all backgrounds can contribute equally through hard work and commitment, something hard to find in an increasingly polarized, stratified world. She also believes that service is a powerful tool for tapping young people’s talents, resources, and abilities, helping them flourish and work productively with others, and that youth who help solve social problems become more positive, engaged, hopeful adults who remain active throughout their lives on behalf of social change. Prior to forming Students for Service in 2010, Kathy raised and educated two children in New York City’s public and independent school systems, serving in various leadership capacities within their schools’ PTAs and other community organizations. A lifelong New Yorker, she has also worked in the for-profit sector in management and marketing.
Azza Bushra, Program Mentor. Azza is a junior at Brooklyn College, where she is studying Nutrition. She graduated from Kingsborough Community College with an Associates in Culinary Arts. She started off at Teens For Food Justice as a volunteer chef helping out with the cooking aspect of the program. She hopes to convey through her food that cooking can be healthy, simple and fun.
Harrison Hillier, Hydroponics Manager. Harrison graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in 2013, before doing further coursework at NC State. At these institutions he gained hands-on experience and insight into both traditional and hydroponic farming techniques. He has over two years of experience applying commercial grade standards for crop growth, handling, and cleaning in greenhouses and outdoor farms.
Clare Hyre, Program Manager. Clare graduated from Guilford College with a double major in Peace and Conflict Studies and Religious Studies in 2008. After graduating and prior to joining Teens for Food Justice, Clare apprenticed on several small-scale CSA farms, as well as managed several farm education programs and farmers’ markets. In 2016 Clare graduated from New York University’s Food Studies Master’s Program, where she studied the intersection of food systems and social justice. Clare is thrilled to bring her experiences in working with youth, building sustainable food systems, and strengthening communities in New York City to Teens for Food Justice.
Joshua Serrano, Development and Communications Manager. Before TFFJ, Joshua was an Americorps Public Ally at Fair Chance, where his work focused on partner communications and new partner outreach and a Research Assistant at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he worked on the Criminalization of Poverty Project. Joshua received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in May 2015. He is from Brooklyn, New York and spent time as an undergraduate studying in Vietnam and Washington DC. He also is a New Economy Maryland Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC.
Ella Shorr, Program & Communications Intern. Ella is completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Vermont, where she majors in Food Systems with a concentration in Community and International Development. She is passionate about culinary arts, and spends her free time recipe hunting or cooking. Learning about local and regional food systems at UVM has sparked her interest in community based agriculture. One of her favorite things to do is go to Farmer’s Markets. She takes full advantage going to school in Burlington, Vermont, the birthplace of Ben and Jerry’s. Ella is also a part-time summer events staffer at Brooklyn Grange, a Rooftop Farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Alyssa Vazquez, Unison Farm Manager. Alyssa joined Teens For Food Justice as a member of its first teen volunteer team in fall 2013 and returned as a mentor the following year. She is currently in her second year of college in Brooklyn, where she intends to major in Environmental Studies and Health & Nutrition. She is involved with Ecology clubs at Kingsborough Community College (KCC) and Brooklyn College and volunteers at KCC farm. She also spends her summers teaching high school students about gardening and environmental sustainability at Brooklyn College.