Growing the Next Generation with Stephen Ritz!

Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx educator / administrator who believes that students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn, and earn in a better one. Moving generations of students into spheres of personal and academic successes they have never imagined, while reclaiming and rebuilding the Bronx, Stephen’s extended student and community family have grown more than 30,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. Just named a 2015 Top Ten Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, Stephen’s accolades include a 2014 Greenius Award, 2014 Green Difference Award, 2013 Latin Trends Award, ABC Above and Beyond Award, Chevrolet / General Motors National Green Educator Award, USS Intrepid Hometown Hero Award, NYC Chancellor’s Award and various others.

Stephen has consistently moved attendance from 40 percent to 93 percent daily, partnered towards 2,200 youth jobs in the Bronx and captured the United States EPA Award for transforming mindsets and landscapes in NYC.

Green Bronx Machine celebrated a 2014 Best of Green Schools Award; one of only ten recipients across the United States.

Stephen has electrified and inspired audiences of all types with his “Si Se Puede” message of hope, urgency and Amer-I-Can innovation; he uses his platform of public speaking to support numerous philanthropic activities locally, nationally and abroad.

To date, Stephen’s work has been featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Fast Track, The Guardian, Caring Magazine, Triple Pundit and on ABC, CNN, NBC, TNT, Disney and NPR as well as internationally and regionally across the country. In 2013, the United States Department of State and New York Foreign Press Corps toured representatives from 40 countries across Stephen’s worksites and classrooms. Stephen is an Office Depot featured teacher – Teachers Change Lives! Dedicated to harvesting hope and cultivating minds, Stephen dreams of opening a nationally replicable Career Technical Education public school in the poorest Congressional District in America rooted in urban agriculture, green, and sustainable initiatives. Stephen recently lost more than 100 pounds by modeling positive behavior and eating what he and his students grow in school. Stephen believes that together, via collaboration, coalition and get to yes solutions, we can all prosper!