Associate Director of Student Life 

A free-spirit at heart, Tara has always connected with her community and Nature in a deep way. Her love of the outdoors led to a Bachelor’s in Environmental Biology from Barnard College/Columbia University, where she worked in the University’s greenhouse and studied the conservation of Sea Turtles in Mexico. She apprenticed and worked on organic farms on Maui and in urban areas including Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, San Francisco and Washington D.C. She acquired her Master’s in Agriculture, Food, and the Environment from Tufts University which gave her more opportunities to educate, design gardens, and engage communities in their food landscape.   

As the first one in her family to attend college,Tara came to YouthBuild Philly with a passion to work at the intersection of education equity, food justice, and community service. She believes that every day at YB is an opportunity to cultivate youth as “critically conscious leaders” and for them to make an impact as AmeriCorps members.  

Books are her second home and cats are her spirit animals.  

tanastasi@youthbuildphilly.org