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Updated: August 22, 2022 / 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022

40 Under Forty 2022: Marissa Gallant

Photo | Erika Sidor Marissa Gallant
Photo | Erika Sidor 40 Under Forty 2022 winners, from left, Ashley Sears Randle, Marissa Gallant, David Oliva, and Timothy Johnson pose at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill (special thanks to Liz Nye and Grace Elton).
Marissa Gallant, 36
  • Title Manager of youth education
  • Company New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, in Boylston
  • Residence Worcester
  • Birthplace Worcester
  • Colleges Roger Williams University, Clark University
Click here to read about the other 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022
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With a name change and a $15-million expansion completed in the last year, the team at Tower Hill is investing heavily in expanding its audience in both size and demographics. At the heart of that strategy is a focus on children, and at the heart of its youth programming is Gallant.

Until last year, Gallant was the only full-time employee at the newly named New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill focused solely on youth education, so it’s fair to say she was single-handedly responsible for nearly tripling the organization’s youth programs. Among those offerings are educational engagement for pre-kindergarten kids, an environmental justice program for Worcester Public School students, and opportunities for underserved children through a wide range of community partnerships.

On top of an immense contribution to environmental education, Gallant’s work has resulted in a 120% increase in departmental revenue over her four years with the organization. The botanic garden continues to invest heavily in its younger audiences and opened a 1.5-acre children’s garden in April, promising to showcase Gallant’s talent in the years to come.

If you went on a 10-year, deep-space mission, what four people would you take? Carl Sagan, David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust), Jane Goodall, Chewbacca (Wookiees count right? Everyone needs a co-pilot.)

What is the best location in Central Mass.? Non-biased answer: The shed at Vincent’s in Worcester, with a meatball sandwich in hand. Biased answer: New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill.

If you gave a keynote at a college graduation, what advice would you give? Don’t ever graduate, but also travel as much as you can.

Outside of your career and family, what has been your marquee life experience? I lived in San Diego for five years before attending graduate school at Clark. Every winter I wonder why I ever moved back.

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