About

Our Story

Grow Jackson was founded by three young adults from the Jackson area who are service oriented and committed to working to help make our home a better place for everyone. Now our board has seven board members all committed to the financial sustainability of Grow Jackson, the expansion of access to fresh food, and a future for Jackson free of Food Insecurity.

Our Staff

Jacob Inosencio (he/him/él) – Executive Director and Founder

Hi! Welcome to Grow Jackson. My name is Jacob and I am the founder of, and first executive director for, Grow Jackson. We started this nonprofit because we believe that fresh food is a human right. I see every day how students have a deeper appreciation for their food when they have a direct connection to their community garden and it brings me so much joy to be blessed enough to do this work each day. I am a lifelong Jackson resident, and returned to this community after graduating from The University of Michigan with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science. I honed my green thumb on an organic farm in Chelsea during the summer of 2020 and started Grow Jackson a few short months later. When I am not running Grow Jackson, I am spending time working with the LatinX/Hispanic population in our community for Jackson College. Those two passions keep me busy but I still make time to serve as an Associate Board Member for True Community Credit Union, and on the Board of Directors for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. I am also on the Environmental Commission and serve as the Vice Chair of the Racial Equity Commission for the City of Jackson. In my free time I enjoy reading, hiking, triathlons, the piano, and traveling.

Our Board

Leticia Albarran Rodriguez (she/her/ella) — Director

Hello! I am a recent graduate from the University of Michigan with a Master's in Social Work - concentration in Community Organizing. I am a proud Jacksonian and new commissioner on the Racial Equity Commission. I absolutely am over the moon to see Jackson thrive and be part of the nurturing and growth the city is undergoing. I work with a global health non-profit and we provide free medical care and community development initiatives on a yearly trip to the highlands of Guatemala. My passions include spending time with family, socializing with and empowering the Spanish - speaking community, traveling, dancing, and anything adrenaline-infused aka roller coasters. I absolutely believe food and healthcare are a human right. It is one of the reasons why I love the mission of Grow Jackson and happy how collaborative and supportive our work is alongside the urban gardens/ers that were in place before us. I'm looking forward to connecting and learning from the community, creating equitable spaces, and eradicating the lack of availability of fresh produce in the city!

Jessica Wright-Rando (she/her) – Treasurer

Hello everyone! I am originally from the Jackson area and am happy to be back here working and being involved in the community. I graduated from Hanover Horton High School, then went to Ferris State, and finally SAU. My educational background of a BA in Business Management, Special Events, and an MBA in Organizational Development has allowed me to establish a career in the medical device industry. I joined Grow Jackson because I believe in the importance of giving back to the community in which you live. I have also seen the direct impact that healthy eating can make in someone's overall life. Every person deserves access to healthy food and Grow Jackson's main mission is to help make that a reality. I love getting to be a part of this organization and helping to bring that reality to our Jackson Community.

Sandy Langston (she/her) – Secretary

Coming Soon!

Aidan Sova (he/him) – Director

Aidan Sova is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Communication and Media. Now, he studies virtually at the University of Pennsylvania as a Master of Liberal Arts candidate. He works full-time as a Product Solutions Consultant at Google. Aidan is a Board of Trustee member at the Ann Arbor District Library, making him the youngest-ever Black person elected to any office in Ann Arbor. He also serves as Washtenaw County's newest Human Rights Commissioner, Member of the State of Michigan's Coronavirus Community Action Task Force, and Member of the Legal Services Corporation's Emerging Leaders Council. Recently, Aidan was named a recipient of the University of Michigan Martin Luther King Junior Spirit Award. Aidan was also the City of Jackson’s Youth Citizen of the Year and State of Michigan Youth Volunteer of the Year. He is also a life-time student government member and previously served as the Executive Director of the Association of Big Ten Students, where he led the 500,000+ students of the academic conference.

Connor Maynard (he/him) — Director

Hey everyone! I am a recent graduate of Wayne State University where I studied Business Administration with a focus in Information System Management. I have been a resident of Jackson nearly my entire life and have a passion for providing fresh food access to everyone in our community. When I’m not helping on the board of Grow Jackson I work at Consumers Energy as a Technical Analyst, am an Assistant Coach for the Men’s Soccer team at Cleary University and am the Jackson area Director of Coaching for the Dan Bulley Soccer School (DBSS).

Danielle Mackey (she/hers) -- Director

Danielle Mackey is a community engagement manager for Consumers Energy. She manages statewide strategies for proactive and reactive customer engagements and supports electric and natural gas service outage response activities.

Danielle began her career at Consumers Energy as a marketing specialist that led large strategic sponsorships and events. Prior to joining Consumers Energy, she was a public relations specialist with a focus on working with youth groups, educational institutions, and government agencies.

She actively serves on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jackson County and serves on the executive committee for Jackson Magazine, Top Teacher of the Year.

She went to Jackson High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree from Siena Heights University in Business Communications.

Danielle resides in Jackson County and enjoys all things ice cream, walking the trails at The Cascades park, spending time with her eight nieces and nephews and her dog Dolce.

Eryn Lewis (she/her) — Director

Eryn Lewis grew up in Albion Michigan and graduated from Western High School. She is now attending Albion College pursuing a degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Biology and Public Health. She has worked on her campus and within the community of Albion by volunteering at the local farmers market and being involved with food insecurity issues. She is currently working with food education by programming Albion College’s farm bot to produce and maintain a plot. After graduating from Albion College in the spring of 2023, Eryn will attend medical school and will pursue a doctorate in medicine.

Jasmine Isaac (she/her/ella) -- Director

Hello! My name is Jasmine Isaac. I am from the beautiful state of North Carolina, but have recently relocated to Jackson, MI to pursue my passion in youth programming. I am a graduate of the University of North Carolina - Charlotte, where I earned a dual Bachelor's degree in Cell & Molecular Biology & Spanish Linguistic & Translation. Currently, I serve as the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative Coordinator at the Jackson County Health Department. Apart from working with our youth, I am also passionate about language, travel, and education. I spent several years abroad as an ESL educator in South Korea, I have traveled to over 20 countries, and I am bilingual in Spanish. I am excited to be a part of the Grow Jackson team, and am looking forward to empowering our youth to learn and love growing food!

Karsen McCord (she/her) - Director

Hi everyone! My name is Karsen McCord, and I am a recent graduate from The University of Michigan, where I studied Public Health Sciences with a minor in Biology. I currently work in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a health scientist for a scientific consulting firm. I adore learning about nutrition, food systems, and ways to improve population health, so I am ecstatic to be a part of this team. I have lived in Jackson my whole life, and the idea of taking what I’ve learned in the classroom and using it to help people I know and love is something I am incredibly grateful for and excited about. While I’m not working, I love to read, travel, and spend time outside with my friends and family.

Kayla Johnson (she/her) — Director

My name is Kayla Johnson. I am a native of Jackson, Michigan as well as a senior at Jackson High School. I enjoy community service, working with youth and being physically active. At school I am involved in many sports teams and work with many clubs and organizations. I believe that good help is always needed for a vibrant community and I love getting to work with this organization because I am committed to our mission to end food insecurity.

Our Community Advisors

Ranis Hill (he/him)

Hello everyone, my name is Ranis Hill. I am honored and proud to be a part of an organization that provides healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables to our local community. I not only believe Grow Jackson can be a vehicle to bring healthy choices to our neighbors, but also can be used as a platform to bring social awareness and education to people about fresh food issues that affect them directly. I am excited to bring ideas to the table and support Grow Jackson’s work to transform our community. My specific interest in working with Grow Jackson includes supporting their effort to support returning citizens and work to end the cycles of mass incarceration. I believe I can help Grow Jackson reach out to people coming home and help them transform their lives. From educational support to employment opportunities, I am excited to share my perspectives about the critical tools that allow formerly incarcerated individuals to successfully transition from the inside world back to society. I believe our Grow Jackson community can use food to bring people to the table with their ideas so we can all build stronger platforms to improve outcomes. Not only to feed people’s bodies, but also their hearts, minds, and souls.

Maria Rubio-Hernández (she/her/ella) — Director

Maria Rubio is a Jackson, Michigan resident who has lived here for close to thirty years since moving from Mexico. She is fiercely committed to her family, her community, and her church. She supports Grow Jackson with her wisdom, food distribution skills, and extensive network of community members to help maximize the impact of our mission.

She works with immigrants and refugees and also works as a translator. Her passions are around serving her neighborhood, lifting up and supporting the Hispanic population in Jackson, Michigan, and in being active in her faith community