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Victoria Gutierrez, 2012 recipient of the Simply Organic Scholarship

Meet Victoria Gutierrez, the 2012 recipient of our annual Simply Organic Scholarship.

Simply Organic Scholarship Recipient: Victoria Gutierrez

Congratulations to Victoria Gutierrez, the third recipient of a continuing scholarship in the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture program at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The scholarship is funded by a $130,000 donation from the Simply Organic 1% fund and the Frontier Foundation.

Victoria's father was a migrant worker along the Texas border, and her mother grew up on a farm in Guatemala, so her family roots are in the land. Her background and interests include environmental issues, ethnic studies, community organizing, indigenous permaculture, and urban gardening. She attended the Traditional Native American Farming Organization program, and she helped reclaim a neglected plot of land in East Oakland for gardening and beautification. As time permits, she continues to work with other local projects in the Bay area. These areas are places of convergence, she explains, where people know one another and look out for one another. They help to decrease ugliness and violence.

Victoria would like to use the new agricultural knowledge she is gaining through the program to convert more empty plots of land to urban gardens and vibrant food systems and community areas back in Southeast LA where her family still lives. She says she already has her eye on a plot of land out near where her father lives. Her plans are to start her own business focused on urban agriculture and provide positive activities for youth, learn from elders in her neighborhood who ate off the land and provide access to more nutritional food.

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