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China Bushell 
Executive Director

China grew up in a world of food and plants. Her mother and dad are both prominent chefs, restaurant owners and gardeners. At an early age, because of the mixed ethnicities of her parents (her mom is half Chinese and half Trinidadian; her dad’s mother is from Spain and his father is from Puerto Rico); vegetables, fruits and plants always fascinated her. The sustainability of food — how it’s created, grown, utilized and recycled, has always peaked her interest. Prior to gardening, China operated and owned a restaurant serving the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She then started volunteering at a garden in the public school near her home in Harlem where her love for gardening with children developed. “There is only one thing better than having my hands in soil — it is having many little hands in soil!” China has transformed the Roosevelt Island Living Library into a vibrant hands-on educational space.

Luke Daenen
Projects Coordinator

Luke has been a garden teacher with A.L.L. and previously worked as part of the Greening of Detroit’s landscape team. An Architecture graduate from the University of Cambridge with professional design experience, Luke has an interest in landscape design and incorporating student led design projects into A.L.L.’s curriculum and programs. They also come to garden education with experience working in Special Education, as a paraprofessional in public schools as well as with play-based ABA therapy with autistic youth through the Center For Social Dynamics. Luke has an interest in dance film production and volunteers in the Bay Area dance community as well as various mutual aid organizations.

Director of Gardens

Antonio has always been involved with his native community which is intricately connected to the care and stewardship of all living & open spaces within and around the bay area. His interests and consequent skills, knowledge and “green thumb” has followed him since his grandmother, paternal, instilled the seed of interest in the healing properties of plants. His reason for assisting in care, propagation and education of community gardens via  A.L.L., in general, is to share and teach the essentials of proper conscience gardening, so that future generations are given the opportunity to acquire basic ecological knowledge which can potentially save our, only, Earth and its ability to continue gifting humans & all living creatures with life giving sustenance, oxygen and the renewal of life itself. Antonio is our Director of Gardens where he oversees the maintenance of all A.L.L.’s gardens and teaches staff, interns and students sustainable gardening techniques and environmentally friendly etiquette.  

Cohort Manager

Jose, JD, was born and raised in the San Francisco Area. He graduated in 2016 with a BA in Geography, from San Francisco State University. His electives focused on soil, water, cartography and environmental problems and solutions. There he developed an understanding and passion for nature, agriculture and social change. During his college years, he was consumed by carbon sequestration, which is the idea of putting carbon dioxide back into the soil as carbon itself. It would be this infatuation, especially since it was a real-world solution to climate change, that led him to the importance of nature.  He started his professional career working, for a geo engineering company, testing soil compaction. Although a promising career, it was not ideal for what he wanted to give back to the world. Building healthy soils was his dream not compacting soils for foundation building. He also awoke to see a great injustice happening around him and in the world- our food systems! While interning, for Point Blue Conservation of Science as a field tech, he took soil samples which would disclose what is occurring in our rangelands or lands for animal grazing. This job kept him on his path to help the world fight climate change. Today, he works as Cohort Manager, where he oversees the direction of our three annual afterschool sessions teaching high schoolers a Green S.T.E.M. curriculum. JD is home now where he feels he can help empower tomorrow’s minds to fight climate change and change their food systems through the expansion of urban green space using agroforestry and invoking the community’s health. 

Rita Vanessa Siniscalchi
Marketing and Communications Director 

Rita Vanessa (RitaVee), a seasoned Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist with over 11 years of experience, is deeply committed to education and community transformation. Alongside her role in spearheading strategic marketing initiatives, she passionately supports initiatives like A Living Library (A.L.L.), aiming to transform diverse public spaces into ecological learning sites. Leveraging her project management expertise, Rita Vanessa executes tailored digital marketing campaigns, enhancing brands’ online presence and communication. Certified as an entrepreneurial business advisor by Cornell University, she is recognized for her speaking engagements at NYC Social Media Week and representation at the Facebook Community Summit. With a collaborative spirit and a focus on innovation, Rita Vanessa consistently exceeds objectives while advocating for meaningful change nationwide.