Meet the Summer Interns

Meet the Summer Interns

Steven Dougherty

Hometown: Kingsport, Tennessee

Favorite Vegetable: Sweet potatoes and leeks

Why did you decide to intern at the farm?:

“I picked the farm among other options at nonprofits partly because I knew that the position I was taking in Chicago has an urban farm, and I thought it would be good to know about that. Also, I just sort of wanted to learn about engaging in environmental justice in addition to social and political justice.”

What does environmental justice mean to you?

“The ability to care for the environment is kind of a privilege. It’s often something that isn’t accessible for most people who don’t have the ability to spend money on solar panels or the flexibility to start a garden because you’re renting a house. So, I think that one of the biggest things in cultivating a society that understands and cares about the environment is giving little pathways into environmental care and environmental justice to be accessible to all income levels.”

What’s Next?:

Year of Service Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago

Steve McFadden

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Favorite Vegetable: Carrots

Why did you decide to intern at the farm?:

“I originally volunteered at the farm with the Berry Summer Thesis Institute at the University of Dayton. I really liked what Stephen and everyone was doing around here. It is really close to the community, hands on kind of service, and I really enjoyed that. I felt like I could use my talents here.”

What about the mission speaks to you?

“I think it is just being really close to the community. A lot of service projects that I have been on just have been about fixing places, but they don’t really have a focus on how people are going to interact with it. I feel like at the farm we have to plant crops, build green houses, but we want to make that space part of the community. I feel like that is really important to bridge the gap between the service we are offering and how people are going to interact with it.”

What’s Next?

Finishing a Mechanical Engineering Degree at the University of Dayton


Larissa Duprey

Hometown:  Rapid City, SD

Favorite Vegetable: Sweet potatoes

Why did you decide to intern at the farm?

I moved to Dayton, and I really spent a lot of time in Twin Towers because my friends live here, so I saw the farm and was interested. I thought the farm was really cool because it was in the neighborhood and organic and sustainable.”

What about organic and sustainable foods appeals to you?

“Last year I read a lot of books and watched some documentaries about how some of our mass produced farming can be really harmful and has caused a lot of harm to humans, to animals, and to the Earth.”

What are your hopes for your future?

“Continue to stay connected to food, people and community. I would like to stay in a neighborhood like Twin Towers, or Twin Towers, and have a house here. Then, I would like to start a bakery or a restaurant that is organic and sustainable.”



Hannah Ward

Hometown: Richmond, MI

Favorite Vegetable: Sweet potatoes

Why did you decide to intern at the farm?

“I graduated, and I didn’t really want to do what normal graduates do right away. I wanted to be able to serve somewhere and live in Dayton and be able to serve that community.”

What’s your favorite job on the farm so far?

I actually mowed the lawn yesterday, and it was really nice. But I also like harvesting turnips–it’s really fun!

One of your favorite places in Dayton?

“Riverscape. They have really nice events and exercise classes there. Also,  I like that you almost feel like you’ve been transported somewhere that’s not Ohio. It almost feels like a coastal area, except you can see the other side of the water haha. And when you’re sitting there you can submerge yourself in other things: kids playing, music, people running. It’s an awesome spot for the community”

What’s Next?: Interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in nutrition


Francisco Olivas

Hometown: Chihuahua, Mexico

Favorite Vegetable:Beets

Why did you decide to intern at the farm?

“I wanted to do something this summer. I got introduced to Mission of Mary by Brian Buchmeyer, he used to be the coordinator of the Marianist Leadership Program at St. Mary’s University, and that’s where I go to school. I’ve been for 2 years at St. Mary’s so far, and I’m a part of our Marianist Leadership Program. A big part of us is to do community service around the St. Mary’s community and the San Antonio community. Service, I think, is really important. Just making impacts on people’s lives as much as we can.”

What’s your favorite job on the farm so far?

Well, it’s only my second day, but I really like building the framed beds for the Backyard Gardens. I had never used a circular saw  


Sylvia Ulmer

Hometown:  Wilmington, OH

Why did you intern at the farm?

I felt convinced to put my beliefs into action after studying Catholic Social Teaching.

What’s next for you after this summer?

I’ll continue my job teaching 5th grade at a Catholic School.

What about the farm’s mission speaks to you?

I love that our food brings health to individuals, the environment, and local economy and community all at the same time.


Irene Astran

Hometown: West Fargo, ND & San Antonio, TX

Favorite Vegetable:Tomato

What’ is your favorite chore at the farm?

A tie between using the flame weeder and picking/sorting the tomatoes we harvest from the greenhouses.

What about the farm’s mission speaks to you?

I love that we take vacant neighborhood spaces and turn them into productive food growing lots, that’s pretty cool. It also makes me think about political science classes I have taken where we talk about allocation of resources and it is cool to see the work at Mission of Mary as a very “boots on the ground” type of work that helps allocate needed resources to people in our neighborhood.

Anna Drew

Hometown: Dayton, OH

Favorite Vegetable:Sweet Potato

Why did you intern at the farm?

I wanted tp expand my knowledge of organic farming practices and explore agriculture as a potential career while also hopefully making a positive impact on the East Dayton community and to continue fulfilling my passion for living sustainably.

What is the best part about growing up and living in Dayton?

The cool things downtown! The Neon, 2nd Street Market, and Dewey’s pizza.


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