Meet the SS Interns

Intern Bios


Anastasia, a Sowing Seeds intern teacher, shows Willis the purple podded pole beans at a Food Forest Friday event.

Their positions are referred to as “Intern” positions, but truly they are so much more. They are the backbone and the heart of this program—they contribute creativity to the curriculum, important teaching skills, and attention and care for each individual child who is a part of Sowing Seeds—and this is the true nature of what Sowing Seeds is to us. It is a safe place we gather together to teach, learn, grow, and help each child realize how much they are cherished. Meet some of the incredible individuals who are sowing community seeds with us in the Sowing Seeds youth programming.

*If you are interested in joining our team, we welcome your gifts! Contact Shae Keane at for more information.


Intern Teacher Maria gives the “Because I cared” box to a student. Students who make choices that are responsible and caring towards others or the environment receive a sticker from this box, which they can use to personalize the cover of their Food Forest journals.


Meet Maria.



Maria is a senior in the dietetic program at ETSU. She calls Northeast Tennessee home. Summers spent in her Popaw’s garden led her to a deep appreciation for the earth. Sowing seeds in the garden is important to her; however, sowing seeds in the hearts of children is most important. She is a strong supporter of sustainable, locally grown food. When she is not studying or teaching at “Sowing Seeds,” she may be found hiking, running, or relaxing in her ENO with her cat.




Meet Anastasia.

Intern Teacher Anastasia with Sowing Seeds kids after they handcrafted their fall wreaths using plants and flowers that grow at Pedro’s Food Forest.

I am a true life enthusiasts. I am a current senior at ETSU in their Nutrition and Dietetics program. I love that the more I learn about nutrition, the more I can share and educate others on its importance. I find it important to take care of our bodies and our Earth! Our food system, and how we feed ourselves has become very complicated. The more that we can be in touch with the foods that we eat the better we can nourish our bodies and souls. Eating healthy does not have to be hard or expensive, but just like anything else it is an art that must be taught. I belong in the garden. I love planting my garden and watching it grow. Walking into the garden and picking foods to cook excites me. Having the ability to grow foods and provide for yourself is so fulfilling. This is a feeling I desire to share with others.  I love to cook and meal prep.  I feel that every day is an opportunity to makes someone else’s day better! Having a positive attitude is key in this life, and it will impact others! I am so excited about working with Build It Up East Tn to better the lives of all living things and people in our community. Working with this program has given me the opportunity to help our community and the people in it flourish.


Meet Anna.

Anna is a recent resident of Johnson City. She has done her fair share of moving but has most recently lived and farmed in Pennsylvania for the last three summers. With a degree in Sustainability Studies, Anna hopes to merge her passions and education to help grow the local food movement. She loves how food brings people together, fostering growth and connections within communities and individuals. At her kindergarten graduation, Anna said that when she grew up she wanted to be a farmer’s wife; now she just wants to be the farmer.