A Look At Us

Hello! As an organization dedicated to people, we would like to share a little information about the organizers who had the bud of an idea and are now able to see it in full bloom!


Paul Watson

Formerly Executive Director of the Training and Research Institute for Residential Youth Centers in New Haven, CT; San Diego Youth and Community Services; and Watson and Associates International. Paul began his career as a youth organizer at the age of 17. He has a Master’s degree from Springfield College. He began a consultant organization in 1998 and specialized in Community Development, Youth Development, Child Welfare, and Organizational Development. He successfully completed international projects in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), The Netherlands, Brazil, Jamaica, and Egypt. He is a national trainer in Youth Development and a member of the Community Youth Development Design Team. He was trained as an ICA Participatory Facilitator. Paul has also served as faculty at Springfield College, New School of Architecture and Design, San Diego City College, and UC San Diego. Paul has won numerous awards and has published both books and articles.


William Oswald

Bill received his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island where he studied Community Psychology. Prior to this work he served as Dean/faculty at Springfield College, School of Human Services and as a community organizer/educator. His work included serving as lead organizer for Workers Association for Guaranteed Employment, Executive Director of the Foundation for Community Organization in Rhode Island, and Director of Community Development for Tenants United for Public Housing Progress in Boston. He has also worked as an independent Community Development consultant providing technical assistance to grassroots, community organizations.

His more recent work includes: the Caring Council (Chair), a network pushing for policy changes that impact the lives of people living in poverty; Supportive Parents Information Network (SPIN), a constituent-led network of families living near or below the Federal poverty line; United Women of East Africa, an ethnic-based community organization giving voice to their community; City Heights Youth for Change, a refugee youth group serving as a pipeline for the development of progressive leaders/activists; the Parent~Student~Resident Organization that organizes the community around education; and Mid-City CAN Building Healthy Communities Initiative, a community-wide mobilization to develop and implement a 10-year plan to transform the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego into a healthy community.

Recent reports include “Hunger and the Safety Net in San Diego County” and “Barriers to Quality Healthcare for East African Families as Identified by East African Women.” Both studies were participatory action studies. The first was conducted by 12 women living near or below the Federal poverty line. The second study was conducted by 23 East African refugee women from six different African countries.


Marina Castelo

Marina started with the garden three years ago (in 2015). She has been a part of this community for 20 years and recently moved closer to the garden. She began to work with the garden because she had known Mr Bill from before, and saw a place she could help contribute to the goals of this project. She is one of the community outreach specialists of the garden; involving the community and explaining what we do to encourage more people to join our efforts and share in the community experience. For her, the garden is therapeutic: it is a place to go and relax and not have to think about anything else but the plants and enjoying her time here. The garden offers a free and fun place to be!


Deron White

He is one of the community outreach team members of the OVGG, has resided in the Southeast Community 40 plus years. He is also the founder of Peace & Unity For
Our Community a non-profit organization that promotes peace and unity
in this community as well as mentoring our youth.

And we couldn’t have done this without the tremendous help from our dedicated volunteers, who have day in and day out made this work so worthwhile! Thank you all and let’s get digging this Saturday!

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