Nina Bryce graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in American Studies, Women’s Studies, and Sustainability Studies. Her interest in connecting young people with food developed during high school, when she was involved with youth programming at an inner city community garden in her hometown. Throughout college, she pursued food studies through her coursework and became involved in food-related organizations on campus and in the community, most extensively focusing on sustainable sourcing in campus dining halls, local children’s hunger relief, and farmer’s market food outreach initiatives. Nina has experience teaching and mentoring in a variety of settings, and she thinks food is a particularly powerful tool for empowerment and growth. Nina is so excited to join the Brainfood team and thankful to be part of an organization that combines her interests in food and youth development in such a wonderful way.
Eleanor Christopher, Summer Institute Intern, is a rising Senior Political Science major at Davidson College. Originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Christopher discovered her interest in working with youth through her competitive jump rope team – the Bouncing Bulldogs- of which she was a part of in middle school and high school. With the team, she had the opportunity teach the skill of jump rope to students around the US and the world. Her love of teaching new skills to young people combined with her passion for food, nutrition, and health makes Brainfood a perfect fit and she is incredibly excited to work with the participants this summer at the institute.
Paul Dahm, Brainfood's executive director, has more than ten years of nonprofit fund-raising and management experience. Prior to joining Brainfood in 2003, Dahm spent two years as a director at Orr Associates, a consulting firm serving the nonprofit community, where he advised a range of organizations such as The National Mentoring Partnership, Gallaudet University, The U.S. Navy Memorial, Youth I.N.C. and the American Bar Association. Previous to Orr Associates, Dahm worked for the Make-A-Wish Foundation as the Community Relations Director for the Washington Metro Area and the Associate Director with overall responsibility for fundraising, community relations, and program services in the Baltimore Metro Area.
Carina Gervacio, Program Director, graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Comparative Literature and Environmental Thought and Practice. Prior to joining Brainfood in 2005, Carina worked with several environmental non-profit organizations, including the Southern Environmental Law Center and, most recently, the League of Conservation Voters. Carina first gained experience with youth development as a volunteer for Migrant Aid, an English tutoring program for migrant youth and adults in central Virginia. Brainfood brings together two of her favorite things: food and working with high school youth.
Greer grew up in New Hampshire and is going to be a junior at Cornell University in the fall. She's studying environmental science and sustainability with a concentration in environmental economics and a minor in business. She also plays on the varsity lacrosse team at Cornell and spent three years assistant coaching a local youth lacrosse team in high school which sparked her interest in working with younger students as a Brainfood intern.
As our garden manager, Aimee spends a lot of time outside, working hands-on in nature... in the middle of the city. Based at the Mt. Vernon Brainfood Innovation Center, Aimee plans, cares for, and harvests our flourishing Youth Garden, keeping our kitchens stocked with the freshest and most local produce around. When she’s not in the garden, Aimee supports our food entrepreneurship program, the Box Project, introducing and reinforcing to students concepts of sustainable food systems and urban agriculture.
Aimee has a masters degree in public administration and nonprofit management and in her professional life has most recently worked in the online communications sector. Her passion for gardening sprung from a keen interest in nutrition and healthy living, which inspired several seasons of garden volunteering for a local high school, a school garden internship with local nonprofit, DC Greens, and gardening coursework with the Neighborhood Farm Initiative here in the District.
Caitlin Sirianni is currently studying Exercise Science at the George Washington University. Originally from Philadelphia, she grew up gardening, eating organically, and buying local foods. She has worked as a camp counselor, sport counselor, and after school counselor and is excited to combine her interest in working with youth and her passion for nutrition and healthy living. This is her first experience working at a non-profit organization, and she is excited to be apart of an organization that uses food as a fun, creative way to teach youth empowerment.
Ibti Vincent studied English Literature and Secondary Education in graduate school, but after teaching for a few years in the public schools in New York City and Washington, DC and seeing the effects of poor diets on her students, she became convinced that her true calling was teaching about food. In the spring of 2009, she set out on her bicycle to learn more about how food is grown and what different programs around the country were doing to teach people about growing, eating, preserving, and sharing food. After 14 ½ months on the road, Ibti returned to her hometown of Washington, DC and began teaching groups of students ranging from elementary schoolers to senior citizens. (Her favorites have always been high school students, though.) Following 2 years as an enthusiastic Brainfood weekly kitchen volunteer, Ibti was elated to join the Brainfood team as a kitchen instructor.