About Us

Our mission is to use food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community.

our story

The only farm-based youth leadership organization in Austin, Urban Roots has been empowering youth and nourishing community for more than 10 years. Urban Roots started in 2008 with just 15 teenagers and one field as a project of another youth development organization, eventually becoming an independent nonprofit in 2011. On our 3.5 acre farm in East Austin, we serve teens and young adults through paid internships that focus not just on farming, but also on their growth as leaders and good citizens.
YOUTH PROGRAMMING

our Work

We believe that empowered youth nourish our community in so many ways. The farm is a safe place where young people can experience first-hand the transformational power of meaningful hard work in order to become healthy, productive, civically-engaged community members. By taking positive risks, like trying a new food for the first time or speaking publicly at a community event, youth have the opportunity to grow as leaders in real time. Each year we provide paid internships and fellowships to 75 young people ages 17-23. They work together with more than 1,000 community volunteers to grow more than 25,000 pounds of fresh food. 
SEE OUR IMPACT

OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES

1. We Honor and Respect Diversity.
2. We provide a High Quality, Transformational Experience for youth and community members.
3. We celebrate “Rigor” and Meaningful, Hard Work.
4. We build Strong Relationships.
5. We cultivate Intentionality in our work.
6. We engage our work with a Spirit of Celebration and Joy.

We strive to bring these concepts to life through our work on a daily basis, and we invite all members of the Urban Roots family to do the same!
VOLUNTEER WITH US

our team

MAX ELLIOTT, LMSW

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lea Scott

FARM DIRECTOR

IAN HUNTER-CRAWFORD

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

EMILY MARES, MSSW

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Kristen Williams

OPERATIONS MANAGER

LUCIA COLE

YOUTH FARM SPECIALIST

HUNTER BAUM

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

BRANNON VEAL, P.ENG

DEVELOPMENT VISTA

KASEY WILLIAMS

PROGRAM VISTA

Mirna Herrera

YOUTH SPECIALIST

Volunteer leadership

Board of Directors

Kate Miller, Board Chair
DLR Group

Carol Gormin, Board Chair-Elect
Community Volunteer

Tammy Benton-Porter, Board Secretary
Amazon Web Services

Danielle Stanley, Board Treasurer
Nelsen Partners

Mike Martinez
MWM Professional Services

Anthoy Sobotik
Lick Honest Ice Creams

Michele Freeman
A Glimmer of Hope Foundation

Jeanie Haggerty
ThunderCloud Subs

Amy Bell
Tideline

Advisory Board

Eddie Rodriguez
Texas State Representative

community advisory council

Tim Eubanks
City of Austin Healthy Adolescent Program

Bianca Flores
Caritas of Austin

Shalieah Fox
Fresh Chefs Society

Lewis Leff
City of Austin Sustainability Department

Tristana Pirkle
Whole Kids Foundation

Stephanie Scherzer
Rain Lilly Farm

Carmen Llanes Pullido
GAVA

Kristi Sitchler
Food Corps

Andrew Smiley
Sustainable Food Center

David Pitre
Tecolote Farm

Hannah Thornton
Texas State University


Our Partners

 This work wouldn't be possible without a generous network of supporters.
Below is a list of businesses, groups, and organizations that made a gift to us of $1,000 or more in the last year. Thank you for your generosity!
ACT
AmeriCorps
AMD
Amy Myers MD
Antonelli's
Association Of Legal Administrators
AT&T
Atlassian
Born This Way Foundation
Capital Farm Credit
City of Austin Office of Sustainability
Contigo Austin
DJ Chorizo Funk
Dropbox
Duchman Family Winery
Eden East
Edible Austin
Emmer and Rye
Endeavor Real Estate Group
Fair Market
Farm To Table
Farm Credit Bank of Texas
Farmhouse Delivery
Foreign & Domestic
Frost Bank
Google Fiber
Halff Community Initiative
Hazoor Partners LLC
HEB
Home Slice Pizza
Hops & Grain Brewery
Hotel San Jose
I Live Here, I Give Here
Independence Title Company
Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation
Jo’s Coffee Shop
JP’s Peace, Love, & Happiness Foundation
Juiceland
Juniper
Kerbey Lane Cafe, Inc.
La Condesa
Launderette
Lazarus Brewing Co.
L’Oca d’Oro
Malverde
Nadamoo!
National Instruments
Paradigm Talent Agency
Parkside
Patagonia
Preacher
RGK Foundation
Rothell Charitable Foundation
Salt & Time
SAP
Seton
Siglo Group
Silicon Labs
Snooze, An AM Eatery
Still Water Foundation
South Texas Outreach Foundation
Southwest Airlines
Spectrum
Suerte
Surgical Care Affiliates
Thai Fresh
The Entreprenuer’s Foundation
The Terry & Regina Armstrong 
Family Charitable Foundation
The Rosenthal Foundation
The Shield-Ayres Foundation
Third Coast Activist Resource Center
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Vital Farms
Wind Energy Transmission Texas
Wheatsville Food Co-op
Whim Hospitality
YETI
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