Meet the People Behind the Magic of HOPE
Rachel Uberman | Executive Director
Rachel has a deep-rooted talent for teaching & nutrition. She has been putting her incredible passion to work for HOPE since 2013, where she first served as a garden educator and nutritionist, before becoming a Co-Director in 2015. In 2018, Rachel dug in deeper with HOPE, stepping up to be the new Executive Director. Before HOPE, Rachel was a founding Director of the Oly School, a preschool program based in Waldorf education where she lead a progressive outdoor kindergarten. Her teachings focused on encouraging outdoor engagement and nutritional enrichment. During that time she obtained a certification in Nutritional Therapy. She firmly believes that the work HOPE does is the future of child education and development, and she brings this dynamic perspective to her role at HOPE, where she encourages and enriches their broad crew of youth, their families, veterans, volunteers & staff to promote healthy relationships, respect for others, & personal empowerment through growing nutritious food, strong people & a better community.
Reuben Richert | Assistant Garden Teacher
Reuben has been with HOPE for three years. He started as a crew member in the youth program in 2015, and became an employee in 2017. Reuben’s excitement for his work is evident in the passion he instills in the youth he works with. His love of gardening is contagious, and his work ethic is second to none. Reuben is a power house of knowledge and determination in HOPE’s corner. His willingness to teach as well as learn along with our young students makes him an invaluable asset to HOPE’s mission and long-term goals.
“HOPE is such an amazing program for everyone involved and I am so happy to have the chance to give back to a program that gave me so much. I love that I have the chance to help give the same experience to others that I received.”
Will Comstock | Elementary Garden Teacher
Will has been cultivating HOPE with the youth of Mason County since Spring 2019. He came to us as a volunteer through the Evergreen State College. Will lights up when he talks about working in the garden with the children, and his love of teaching shines like a beacon for HOPE. Hardworking and incredibly smart, he exemplifies all of the great things HOPE aspires to be. From the beginning, Will has been an incredible addition to the HOPE team. His passion for teaching compliments his love of gardening. Will continues to expand his personal and professional accomplishments through the Evergreen State College as he pursues his BA in Elementary Education.
Suzy Ronald | Office Assistant
Suzy is an invaluable asset to HOPE. She began attending Olympic College in 2014, obtaining a business degree in 2017. In college, she served as Student Government Vice President for the Shelton Campus, where she discovered her greatest passion was helping others; especially those in need of food and other basic needs. This discovery lead to the rejuvenation of Olympic College’s onsite food bank. In 2015, Suzy became a student mentor in the Youth Entrepreneurship Camp Program through Olympic College for HOPE youth and has been involved ever since through our Work Study Program. She is currently working toward her second degreen at the Evergreen State College with a focus on Social Justice within food systems and Sustainable Agriculture.
“I am so passionate about this program and the benefits it brings to our community. I believe all students should learn gardening and cooking skills early in life. Shelton is blessed to have this amazing program in its backyard.”