Meet The Team

Jonathan Ryan Gardner

Founder/ Executive Director


About Jonathan

Jonathan Ryan Gardner is the Founding Executive Director of GardHouse. With several years of external and internal outreach experience, Jonathan has led engagement initiatives from the tech industry to the government sector. As ED of Charlotte’s first work-based organization that primarily focuses on college students of color, Jonathan developed paid internships within small businesses and nonprofits to demonstrate that they too can be economic drivers and training hubs for young talent. He launched GardHouse after finding that college students of color were twice as likely to be unemployed than their counterparts for the last fifty years. Utilizing his outreach experience and Philadelphia upbringing as his foundation, Jonathan vowed to provide personalized experiences for students of color to excel in whatever field they choose.


La Salle University, B.A. in Communication


  • 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree

Ashley Peterson

Associate Director of Intern Impact


About Ashley

Ashley N. Peterson is the Associate Director of Intern Impact of GardHouse, leading the hybrid recruiting, development, and coaching programs for intern cohorts. Prior to GardHouse, she spent a decade at a Fortune 200 organization in progressive leadership roles in project management, communications, employee experience, DEIBA engagement, and early career talent. Ashley stands committed to paying it forward and being a light to everyone who could learn from her life experiences, driving her devotion to the personal and professional success of students of color.


West Virginia University, M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, B.S. in Marketing


  • Board Member, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Charlotte Chapter
  • Member, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Featured Storyteller, The Confetti Project
  • Contributing Author, The Loveliness Network’s The Path to My Purpose

virtual office hours

M-F: 9 am – 5 pm

Mailing Address

809 Westmere Ave Suite C Charlotte, NC 28208

GardHouse is a qualified 501(c)(3) organization for tax-deductible donations. 

EIN: 84-2952589