STAFF

Megan has been working to UNdo all the convoluted nutrition ed. and food marketing information that’s been confusing and frustrating eaters for decades. She is looking forward to the day when a generation of youth completely undermines the industrial food system when they start spending all their food dollars on healthy local food businesses they run.

Megan has been working to UNdo all the convoluted nutrition ed. and food marketing information that’s been confusing and frustrating eaters for decades. She is looking forward to the day when a generation of youth completely undermines the industrial food system when they start spending all their food dollars on healthy local food businesses they run.


Megan Hanson
CoFounder + Lead

Karen Ramirez grew up in South LA and was one of the first group of youth who joined RootDown LA in 2010, out of a desire to give back to her community. She went on to college to study psychology and was able to return in the Fall of 2010 to first become a youth volunteer and has worked her way up to Program Manager at Root Down L.A. Karen now aspires to be Executive Director for Root Down LA in the future. She is passionate about learning new skills and getting people to eat their veggies.   “One reason I have stayed with RDLA since 2014 is that it is a place where you feel empowered to make a change in your community. And because it’s youth driven, it shows the youth that they can exceed their own expectations - they can look up to the staff and relate to them.”

Karen Ramirez grew up in South LA and was one of the first group of youth who joined RootDown LA in 2010, out of a desire to give back to her community. She went on to college to study psychology and was able to return in the Fall of 2010 to first become a youth volunteer and has worked her way up to Program Manager at Root Down L.A. Karen now aspires to be Executive Director for Root Down LA in the future. She is passionate about learning new skills and getting people to eat their veggies.

“One reason I have stayed with RDLA since 2014 is that it is a place where you feel empowered to make a change in your community. And because it’s youth driven, it shows the youth that they can exceed their own expectations - they can look up to the staff and relate to them.”

Karen Ramirez
Assistant Lead, Programs Director

Ana was a participant in RootDown’s earliest programs, and has been an integral part of our team for many years. Ana encouraged us to start working with younger kids in the community and is now a parent herself. Driven by a diabetes diagnosis, Ana’s extended family started making dietary changes which she says are much easier to make thanks to what she’s taught them.

Ana was a participant in RootDown’s earliest programs, and has been an integral part of our team for many years. Ana encouraged us to start working with younger kids in the community and is now a parent herself. Driven by a diabetes diagnosis, Ana’s extended family started making dietary changes which she says are much easier to make thanks to what she’s taught them.

Ana Torres
Programs Coordinator

Raised in Paris, Chef Kabaoglu was initiated into the culinary world at the ripe young age of 14. Out of both desire and necessity, the aspiring chef dropped out of school and began his first apprenticeship - going on to refine his craft in the kitchens of fine dining establishments such as La Bourride, under the supervision of Chef Michel Bruneau. His contact with talented executive chefs and local growers ignited Kabaoglu’s love for fresh, local ingredients which inspire the pure, clean flavors of his mostly vegetable-based dishes.   “I feel extremely connected to RDLA for many reasons: personal motivation, my desire to pass on knowledge to the youth, working with people of the highest integrity and commitment, and bringing Root Down, as a team, to it’s highest positive impact”

Raised in Paris, Chef Kabaoglu was initiated into the culinary world at the ripe young age of 14. Out of both desire and necessity, the aspiring chef dropped out of school and began his first apprenticeship - going on to refine his craft in the kitchens of fine dining establishments such as La Bourride, under the supervision of Chef Michel Bruneau. His contact with talented executive chefs and local growers ignited Kabaoglu’s love for fresh, local ingredients which inspire the pure, clean flavors of his mostly vegetable-based dishes.

“I feel extremely connected to RDLA for many reasons: personal motivation, my desire to pass on knowledge to the youth, working with people of the highest integrity and commitment, and bringing Root Down, as a team, to it’s highest positive impact”

Cyril Kabaoglu
Culinary Instructor

Johnny started off training in RootDown’s culinary programs and later fell in love with plants after taking Larry Santoyo’s permaculture course. He says, “Growing up in an area where there are more liquor stores then healthy food options, made me want to make a change. Growing healthier food for our community helps us eat healthier.”

Johnny started off training in RootDown’s culinary programs and later fell in love with plants after taking Larry Santoyo’s permaculture course. He says, “Growing up in an area where there are more liquor stores then healthy food options, made me want to make a change. Growing healthier food for our community helps us eat healthier.”

Jonathan Galindez
Garden Manager

Andres started cooking with RootDown in high school. He became our culinary instructor for many years, teaching other kids how to make the veggies we grow taste better. While he is continuing his professional culinary career, he is now assisting Garden Manager Jonathan and raising his own daughter on the healthy foods produced in our gardens.

Andres started cooking with RootDown in high school. He became our culinary instructor for many years, teaching other kids how to make the veggies we grow taste better. While he is continuing his professional culinary career, he is now assisting Garden Manager Jonathan and raising his own daughter on the healthy foods produced in our gardens.

Andres Chopin
Assistant Garden Manager

Blanca has been with RDLA since she began participating in the after school cooking classes during her senior year at Thomas Jefferson High School. Two Youth development programs and a CHET training later, she is now running those same classes on her own and has become an indispensable kitchen staff member. Blanca is pursuing a career in education and wants to become a High School Teacher.   “One reason I have stayed with RDLA since 2014 is that it is a place where you feel empowered to make a change in your community. And because it’s youth driven, it shows the youth that they can exceed their own expectations - they can look up to the staff and relate to them.”

Blanca has been with RDLA since she began participating in the after school cooking classes during her senior year at Thomas Jefferson High School. Two Youth development programs and a CHET training later, she is now running those same classes on her own and has become an indispensable kitchen staff member. Blanca is pursuing a career in education and wants to become a High School Teacher.

“One reason I have stayed with RDLA since 2014 is that it is a place where you feel empowered to make a change in your community. And because it’s youth driven, it shows the youth that they can exceed their own expectations - they can look up to the staff and relate to them.”

Blanca Alvarado
Culinary Assistant

Alondra.jpg

Alondra Gutierrez
Culinary Assistant

Estiven Saravia found Root Down L.A. shortly after moving to South Central. He first participated in RootDown’s programs to complete community service hours for school, but then stayed on as a regular volunteer. Estiven started in the kitchen but later was called to work in the garden. He feels his work experience as farm apprentice here will lead to other personal and professional opportunities. “ I would like to continue working with Root Down and get a higher position. My hope with Root Down LA is to be able to become a professional that knows how to maintain gardens and how to help the community with healthy food - grown organically.”

Estiven Saravia found Root Down L.A. shortly after moving to South Central. He first participated in RootDown’s programs to complete community service hours for school, but then stayed on as a regular volunteer. Estiven started in the kitchen but later was called to work in the garden. He feels his work experience as farm apprentice here will lead to other personal and professional opportunities. “I would like to continue working with Root Down and get a higher position. My hope with Root Down LA is to be able to become a professional that knows how to maintain gardens and how to help the community with healthy food - grown organically.”

Estiven Saravia
Garden Assistant

Elijah-Gonzalez2.jpg

Elijah Gonzalez
Culinary Assistant


ALUMNI YOUTH LEADERS

When she was in 8th grade, Jocelyn got dragged along on a RootDown road trip to San Francisco with her older sister, our Horticultural Programs Manager, Karen. Since then, Jocelyn has graduated from our 13-week horticultural training and now manages the WECAN gardens.

When she was in 8th grade, Jocelyn got dragged along on a RootDown road trip to San Francisco with her older sister, our Horticultural Programs Manager, Karen. Since then, Jocelyn has graduated from our 13-week horticultural training and now manages the WECAN gardens.

Jocelyn Ramirez
2012 - 2015

Janelle has moved on to focus on college at Santa Monica College. Before that, she was helping manage our garden network at our WECAN site.

Janelle has moved on to focus on college at Santa Monica College. Before that, she was helping manage our garden network at our WECAN site.

Janelle Gutierrez
2012 - 2015

Elizabeth completed our 13-week horticultural training and found herself sucked into an intern position at our Jefferson High garden where she has been helping increase food production and engage high school students.

Elizabeth completed our 13-week horticultural training and found herself sucked into an intern position at our Jefferson High garden where she has been helping increase food production and engage high school students.

Elizabeth Serrano
2012 - 2015

Evelyn joined Root Down LA while in high school and felt it was like joining a second family. After being a staff member and culinary apprentice, she is she is now taking some time off to take care of school. Evelyn is studying to be an elementary school teacher and said that her work with RootDown helped her improve her communication, teaching, and of course cooking skills (which she felt she desperately needed). “ One thing I hope to accomplish with is to empower youth in South L.A. to become leaders of their community .”

Evelyn joined Root Down LA while in high school and felt it was like joining a second family. After being a staff member and culinary apprentice, she is she is now taking some time off to take care of school. Evelyn is studying to be an elementary school teacher and said that her work with RootDown helped her improve her communication, teaching, and of course cooking skills (which she felt she desperately needed). “One thing I hope to accomplish with is to empower youth in South L.A. to become leaders of their community.”


Evelyn Orozco
2016 - 2018

missing-pic.jpg
missing-pic.jpg

FOUNDER + CO FOUNDER

 
katty-atkiss.jpg

Katy Atkiss
Founder

Megan has been working to UNdo all the convoluted nutrition ed. and food marketing information that’s been confusing and frustrating eaters for decades. She is looking forward to the day when a generation of youth completely undermines the industrial food system when they start spending all their food dollars on healthy local food businesses they run.

Megan has been working to UNdo all the convoluted nutrition ed. and food marketing information that’s been confusing and frustrating eaters for decades. She is looking forward to the day when a generation of youth completely undermines the industrial food system when they start spending all their food dollars on healthy local food businesses they run.

Megan Hanson
Founder

 

ADVISORY BOARD

Corinna has served on the board of RootDown LA since its inception and can’t look at anything - spaces, objects or people - without seeing opportunity. With an 18-year career as designer and project manager in various architecture firms around the world, she applies her creative force wherever RootDown’s ideas and dreams need to be translated into buildable, fundable, and engaging projects. Her experience in forging and leading teams is instrumental to many built and planted projects at RootDown LA.

Corinna has served on the board of RootDown LA since its inception and can’t look at anything - spaces, objects or people - without seeing opportunity. With an 18-year career as designer and project manager in various architecture firms around the world, she applies her creative force wherever RootDown’s ideas and dreams need to be translated into buildable, fundable, and engaging projects. Her experience in forging and leading teams is instrumental to many built and planted projects at RootDown LA.

Corinna Gebert
Board Member, Chair

Monique and RootDown LA go together like peas and carrots. Both were molded by the city, love getting their hands dirty, and snack on veggies daily. Monique brings with her 8 years of non-profit experience in human services. She is elated at the opportunity to support South LA’s sustainability efforts.

Monique and RootDown LA go together like peas and carrots. Both were molded by the city, love getting their hands dirty, and snack on veggies daily. Monique brings with her 8 years of non-profit experience in human services. She is elated at the opportunity to support South LA’s sustainability efforts.

Monique Figuereido
Board Member, Secretary

missing-pic.jpg

Jorge Nuno
Board Member

missing-pic.jpg

Thea de Borja
Board Member

missing-pic.jpg