Some Extraordinary People You Need to Know

There are some pretty amazing people in every community, but every so often we like to pick out one or two and let everyone know a little bit about them and the extraordinary work they’re doing.

Take, for example, Christina B. Smith and Tanner Burgdorf, Executive Director and Program Coordinator at Groundwork Bridgeport.

Groundwork Bridgeport works at the intersection of the environment, equity and civic engagement, with a goal of transforming the natural and built environment through activities that aim to beautify and revitalize Bridgeport while providing opportunities for local youth to learn and engage with their community.

Christina, who joined GWB 2 years ago to expand GWB’s reach in the community, is passionate about a lot of things (nutrition, learning languages – she’s studied 7) but says she cares most about, “helping others, in particular young people because they are so full of life and have such great dreams and I want to help keep their happiness alive and support them any way that I can.”

A Bridgeport, Connecticut native who has lived in London, New York, and San Francisco among other places, Christina returned to Bridgeport with a passion not only for community development but the desire to be part of making Bridgeport a place that people love to be!

She earned her B.A. in Economics from Princeton, worked in the financial sector for a couple of years in a variety of roles, then pursued graduate studies “with the specific aim of returning to Bridgeport to make my hometown better and restore it to its former glory.”

Christina now also holds an M.A in Historical and Sustainable Architecture from New York University and an M.Sc. in Urban Regeneration from University College London, Bartlett School of Planning, where she focused on housing development. As part of her studies she also spent some time at Prince Charles’ Foundation for the Built Environment (now called the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community) where she was exposed to the field of brownfield redevelopment and sustainable planning.

After a stint as the Director of Central Grants for City Hall, and newly-elected Bridgeport City Council representative for the 130th district, her goal in her role with GWB is “to reconnect Groundwork Bridgeport to the broader community and act as a local resource for organizations both within and outside of the city who seek to do community development, with a particular focus on the physical environment.”

Tanner Burgdorf, Program Coordinator for Groundwork Bridgeport, works with youth who are invested in changing the perception of the city. He has a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from the University of Connecticut and is passionate about using what he’s learned to inspire the kids he works with.

For more information on Groundwork Bridgeport please visit: 

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