Meet the Pro Horts

Class of 2024

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Kelsey Chai

Before coming to Longwood, Kelsey worked at Haverford College’s arboretum as a student and graduated with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Environmental Studies. She was an Urban Forestry intern at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. Kelsey then went on to work at NYBG as part of their Conservatory crew where she helped install exhibitions and took care of a lowland rainforest house. While at Longwood, she hopes to become a well-rounded horticulturist.

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Madison Claydon

Madison loves nature, art, and music. She spent one year working at Longwood in the production greenhouse and is excited to explore other areas of Longwood. Madison is inspired by gardens, be it small house plants or big outdoor plants, and wants to inspire others.

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Caroline Colino

Caroline’s love of horticulture stems from fond memories of her grandmother’s woodland garden. After spending several years in Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry, she is thrilled to have found a home for creativity in the natural world. Caroline hopes to blend her artistic background with her training here at Longwood to launch a career in horticultural design.

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Victoria Fuentes

Victoria worked at Trader Joe’s as an artist and ordering for cut flowers and plants. She volunteered at the native plant and butterfly garden at Overpeck Park in Teaneck, NJ, where her love for native plants began. Victoria is a Master Gardener through Rutgers University.

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Charli Klein

Charli grew up in central NJ interested in environmental protection from a young age. They earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Environmental Studies. They became interested in horticulture because it is a way to work with your hands while improving and beautifying habitats. Charli worked at a few public gardens including Mt. Cuba Center, and post-grad public gardens/ ecological research.

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Noah Meanix

Noah loves nature, hikes, gardens, and animals. He likes to be lighthearted and is excited to meet other Longwood staff. Noah worked on maintaining and landscaping gardens for the past two summers and still has much to learn!

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Samantha Paine

Samantha earned a B.A. in Professional Writing and English from Kutztown University in 2018. After graduation, she worked as a marking copywriter. For the past two years, prior to the program, she worked as a farmhand and manager at an orchard and vegetable farm. Samantha is looking forward to learning plant ID & design while helping to maintain Longwood’s whimsical environment.

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Carlos Rodriquez Gonzalez

Carlos grew up in the outdoors but loved science. He wanted to be a surgeon, so he began volunteering at age 14 with riding in ambulances. While attending college he began to volunteer in their greenhouses, and eventually a plant biology lab. He started a private gardening business in Morristown, NJ. Carlos graduated with a biology degree and decided that he wanted to do conservation instead.

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Sammy Winderman

Sammy has worked as a city forester and crew leader for a conservation corp in San Jose, CA. He enjoys working at the intersection of the built environment and the natural environment. In his free time, he likes finding new music, eating tasty fruit, hiking, and watching movies.

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Abigail Urena

Abi loves visiting gardens. She remembers the first botanic garden she visited in the Dominican Republic when she was five. She appreciates the beauty of plants and is excited to learn the science behind them, especially in a public garden setting. Abi is interested in sustainable agriculture, research, and landscape design. She loves to cook and share food. She looks forward to growing her own ingredients and being experimental in the garden.