Meet Our Team
Guidance, Inspiration & Support
Founder and President
In 2015, after working in retail horticulture and as agricultural biotech researcher and business person for over a decade Abigail began volunteering in her spare time at GRACE Marketplace, Gainesville's shelter and housing services center for people experiencing homelessness. Inspired by her own life experiences and by the humanity and resilience of people in such circumstances, Abigail realized that being at GRACE was more rewarding than any other work she had done before and that she could use her expertise with startups and agriculture to benefit people who needed resources the most.
Dr. Amanda Hodges
Dr. Amanda Hodges has served as the director of the interdisciplinary Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM) program since 2012, and has been an extension entomologist with the University of Florida since 2003. Amanda has been involved with Grace Grows since 2018, and she coordinates DPM student instruction for the horticulture vocational course. Amanda brings years of extension, classroom, and agricultural experiences to the continued educational development of the Grace Grows horticulture vocational course. Students learn by teaching and serving-this is a philosophy that Amanda has integrated into the DPM Program learning culture. Grace Grows is a very important service learning partnership with the UF/IFAS DPM Program.
Isana Singh is a student at the University of Florida where she studies Economics and Women’s Studies. Her strong energy for social sector consulting has manifested itself through pro-bono consulting work within the Gainesville community. She has collaborated with several startups and non-profits to reduce social inequities, using skills such as fundraising development, digital marketing, organizational restructuring, and market research. At the University of Florida, Isana is the President of the Undergraduate Consulting Club where she fosters professional success through providing members with industry insights, alongside opportunities to engage with consulting firms and the local community.
As a business student at the University of Florida Sophia participated in the Undergraduate Consulting Club wherein she had her first encounter with Grace Grows. Through her pro-bono consulting work with Grace Grows she realized the important role it filled in the community and was inducted as a board member by year’s end. She has been a dedicated volunteer in her own hometown of Vero Beach and is excited for the work she can do with Grace Grows. With a minor in Public Health, one of Sophia's biggest interests is in working with the community to uncover the best way to serve those in need who are lacking access to mental and physical health resources
An energetic activator with a passion for people, Talia works as a Senior Digital Campaign Manager at Feathr, creating effective strategies to increase the branding, membership, and advocacy efforts of associations worldwide. Previously, Talia served as the Associate Director for CareerSource North Central Florida, the local workforce development board growing business by providing training opportunities for all members of the Alachua & Bradford County communities, including the residents of GRACE Marketplace. She has collaborated with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Department of Corrections, businesses throughout the region, and community organizations to create innovative opportunities for both skills training and employment placements. Prior to that, she worked in project and contract management for a $10M/year information technology and customer service contractor. Talia is a proud graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelors degree in Telecommunications/News. Her existing community partnerships and experience in board governance is an asset in the sustainable development of a growing board.
Community Engagement Adviser
As someone who has experienced homelessness and worked for a local nonprofit, the Gainesville Community Ministry, Anna Hammock has a valuable perspective to offer the team. She has spent over a year volunteering for Grace Grows offering her insights at an executive level. Anna also has participated in the Horticulture Training Program at GRACE Marketplace when she was experiencing homelessness. She has helped Grace Grows to conceptualize the community engagement model that is essential to remaining true to Grace Grows' vision to be a resource for empowerment.
Community Food Project Coordinator
Latashia is a loving mother and nurturing grandmother. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but she spent most of her formative years in Gainesville, Florida. Latashia is currently the Executive Director of the Florida Council, Inc. an arm of the National Council for Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls, Inc. She is also a Production Assistant for Brooke Brimm Retreats and Culture Advertising & Design. Latashia’s research on food insecurities in Alachua County and her passion for healing communities by addressing individual and community needs has led her to become a part of the Grace Grows Community Food Project in uniting communities with resources and developing progressive community-led programs. Latashia spends time working on two manuscripts about traumatic life experiences and the journey to healing through self-love. Latashia believes in creating change by giving back and being active within the community.