Leah Bry, the founder of GreenLeaf, has been motivated to help a diverse group of Denver youth cultivate their leadership skills by transforming vacant lots into farms and growing fresh, healthful food for people who need it. She founded GreenLeaf in 2008, a nonprofit that teaches urban gardening, digs in to make change, and works to create a culture of social justice in partnership with the youth most impacted by inequality and health disparities. Since her own youth, Leah Bry has dedicated herself to bring about a world where conflicts are solved with grace and respect, ultimately leading to happier, more connected, more resilient communities. Leah Bry has been at her passion for more than 175,200 hours. That’s because she got her start as a change-maker at age 10.
She defines herself as a servant leader. Rather than swooping in from above with the solution to in hand, Leah strives to support communities in planning and executing the solutions of their own design. The smart, grounded, dedicated and passionate Bry leads at GreenLeaf by facilitating. Her goal is, “supporting the GreenLeaf youth’s growth and development, [and] stepping aside to make space for their leadership.” There is no power struggle here; no heirarchy or iron fist. In fact, Leah’s favorite thing about being a servant leader is sharing in the celebrations after each success, large or small. She’s helping build a vision of a more just and healthier future, piece by piece, and recognizes that every piece deserves to be celebrated.
From Within to Without
Leah’s roots were well-nurtured through supportive family and friends, and she’ll never forget it. This is one introspective woman. She’ll cite a long, diverse, list of influences: Her family, who welcomed conversations about difficult issues opened her eyes to equity and justice. Her faith “that the universe is enormous, miraculous, abundant, vibrant, beautiful, complex, and dynamic, that change is constant, that anything is possible, and that we are all powerful” drives her every day. Her profound awareness of the struggling people around her compels her to right the wrong. And the people who have come before her, illuminating the pathways for giving back. Leah knows herself and owns her role in the world. She does right not just because she wants to, but because she needs to.
Now, with GreenLeaf, she builds community by focusing on the people first. She applies her love for the world, her trust in human potential, and the compassionate example of her parents to leave a permanent imprint on the world. It’s a legacy of sorts, but not in the traditional sense. Leah wouldn’t want a statue in her honor, she’d rather lead and inspire a young person from within the community, spark in them the confidence and tools to bcome the kind of adult who deserves such immortalization. Leah’s legacy will be hundreds of living statues, all over Denver and beyond; the human blossoms of the seeds she plants with service leadership.