Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx teacher/administrator. With the help of extended student and community family they have grown over 25,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance.
His Bronx classroom features the first indoor edible wall in NYC DOE which routinely generates enough produce to feed 450 students healthy meals and trains the youngest nationally certified workforce in America. Stephen has consistently moved attendance from 40% to 93% daily, helped fund/create 2,200 youth jobs, captured the US EPA Award for transforming mindsets and landscapes in NYC, recently won the ABC Above and Beyond Award, helped earn his school the first ever Citywide Award of Excellence from the NYC Strategic Alliance for Health and attributes these results directly to growing vegetables in school.
His speech at Columbia University, “From Crack to Cucumbers,” along with the release of a You-Tube Video (Urban Farming NYC) resulted in a national following including an invite to the White House Garden. Dedicated to harvesting hope and cultivating minds, Stephen dreams of opening a nationally replicable Career Technical Education public school in the poorest Congressional District in America rooted in urban agriculture, green and sustainable initiatives. For more information, visit www.greenbronxmachine.com
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