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November 9, 2023

Meet Our 2021 Wild Foods and Medicines Interns

Meet Our 2021 Wild Foods and Medicines Interns

Jen Herbert (Diné) (she/her)

“Being a part of the Tend workshops and learning from other Indigenous foods and plants educators has truly been an amazing experience…it has really encouraged me to learn more about my own traditional plants and medicines back at home in Arizona. So, I’m extremely grateful for the Tend Team, especially Elise, Mariana, and Elizabeth, for welcoming me to this space to learn and grow! Ahéhee' (Thank you)”

Jen (she/her) is one of our Wild Foods and Medicines Program Interns. She is Diné (Navajo), originally from Flagstaff, Arizona, and now resides on occupied Duwamish lands in Seattle. Jen is a recent graduate from the University of Arizona College of Public Health having received her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Promotion in August, 2021. 

Jen first came to GRuB in July 2020 as a graduate student completing a Fellowship program at the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) in Seattle, WA. During this time, she has helped to edit and update the Tend curriculum and develop and implement program evaluation tools. In addition, she has also assisted us on a 5-year National Science Foundation grant with the Swinomish Tribe in helping to create a visual logic model and to assess outcomes that increase knowledge and skill among program participants.

In May 2021, Jen transitioned from her position as a Fellow to a Program Evaluator at UIHI. Since then, she has continued to work with GRuB and Swinomish Tribe in data collection, evaluation, and reporting. Jen is passionate about chronic disease prevention and health promotion and hopes to one day return home to Arizona to serve her community. In the meantime, she enjoys reading, being with friends and family, immersing herself in the PNW landscape, and learning more about plants!

Amy Prosser (she/her)

Amy (she/her) was a Fall intern with the Wild Food & Medicine Program. She’s a student at The Evergreen State College (TESC) studying sustainable agriculture with a special interest in public health and education. Amy was first introduced to GRuB while co-coordinating the Herbal Medicine Club at TESC where the Tend, Gather, Grow Curriculum was used to build relationships with native plants, make plant medicine, and learn about Indigenous peoples’ perspectives. Over the course of her internship at GRuB, she attended teacher trainings and helped maintain the GRuB nature trail while deepening her understanding of Cultural Ecosystems.

Currently, Amy is an intern with Freedom Farmers, an Olympia High School alternative learning experience for high schoolers, where she assists in the Tend curriculum implementation. She also facilitates student experiences that promote building a positive relationship with land including prairie restoration work onsite. Amy hopes to continue this work and get her Master’s in Teaching in the near future. 

Rachel Collins (she/her)

You know those moments in life when your heart starts to pound with excitement and your entire body feels like it’s about to float away on a cloud of joy? That feeling when you know that this is exactly where you are supposed to be in life? That’s the feeling I got during the first day of teacher training with the Tend, Gather and Grow program. I am so thankful for the mentorship and endless support during my time with Elise and the team. It has been such an honor to be a part of this team and project and a cherished experience I will be reflecting on for years to come.”

Rachel is currently in her last few months of study at Bastyr University in the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program and Master of Public Health program focusing on social justice and community health education. 

Rachel started teacher training with Tend, Gather and Grow while working on the Sacred Seeds Project at Bastyr University. A couple of years later, she began interning with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and GRuB’s Tend Project as part of her public health practicum and capstone work. During her time with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Rachel primarily worked on adapting the 13 Moons at Work Curriculum and the Tend curriculum into a sustainable, effective, and accessible online model through developing infographics and social media analytics for the Swinomish community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Currently, Rachel is completing her capstone project including research regarding the health and education career underrepresentation of Indigenous communities in North America and developing a Tend, Gather and Grow Career Connected Learning Toolkit. The toolkit is designed for both Native and non-Native youth and educators, and consists of culturally relevant industries and STEAM career pathways depicted through infographics, interviews with Native professionals, and job-related resources. Outside of school and internships, Rachel spends her time working on her Oh Hello Anxiety project, where she creates psycho-educational illustrations depicting the many faces anxiety can have and normalizing the experience to dismantle the stigma and colonial ideologies surrounding mental health and wellness. She also loves to cuddle her cats, eat snow cones, take slow walks in the woods, listen to the birds, drink tea, and build relationships with all the plants and animals she can. 

Randy Pratt (they/them)

“My time with GRuB and learning about cultural ecosystems has fundamentally changed how I interact with the world around me and see myself in it. I am beyond words for how much Elise, GRuB, and Tend team have offered me! Thank you!”

Randy has been interning and volunteering with the Wild Foods and Medicines program since 2019. Randy grew up on Ute, Piaute, and Shoshone lands in the Salt Lake valley of Utah with ancestral roots reaching back to England, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden.

Randy has been studying community resilience and agro-ecology at Evergreen since Fall of 2018, after a growing season as GRuB's Farm Crew Coordinator. As a WFM intern they have participated in tending and cultivating the camas prairie demonstration plot, food forest, nature trail, and community medicine rows at GRuB.

Their time at GRuB has led them to other cultural ecosystems related work such as tidal shellfish garden restoration and to mountain huckleberry meadows. This summer they’ll work at Tahoma (aka Mount Rainier National Park) where they hope to learn more about prescribed burns, fire ecology, and wilderness medicine. Randy is motivated by healing fragmentation of landscapes, waterways, and relationships, and by community care as medicine.

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