Our talented parent-educators and staff lead each summer camp session. A diverse group, we are assisted by adult, college & high school volunteers.


Jania Otey, our Executive Director, holds a B.A. degree in Political Science and a J.D. degree. She has been practicing law in the private sector for over fifteen years. Although she continues to practice law, Jania devotes most of her time to educating and shaping the hearts of her two young boys, being a wife, working in the church, and mentoring youth. She also teaches at a home school co-op, organizes classes for children, and teaches children’s Bible classes. Jania is certified in CPR and Basic First Aid and has homeschooled her children since 2005.

LaTeisha Williams, our Deputy Director of Supply & Culinary Arts, holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Spanish with a minor in Chemistry. She dedicates herself to being a wife, homeschooling mom of four, and serving in the church, especially with Bible classes and programs concerning women or youth. LaTeisha has worked as a day care provider and standardized testing coordinator, has studied abroad in Chile, and has taught several academic subjects, as well as nutrition and cooking. She counts reading, cake decorating, and creative hands-on projects among her varied interests.
Jamia Eaton, our Deputy Director Camp Operations and Marketing, holds a B.A. degree in Visual Communications and is the owner of JE Designs, a web and graphic design home-based business in Maryland. She has worked with children ages 2-12 at daycares and church programs. Jamia has taught aerobics at Bally’s, is a wife and mother of four children and has recently began a nutrition business with her husband. She is currently home schooling her four children.

Oluwatoyin Tella, our Deputy Director Camp Operations and Counselors-in-Training, holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. She is the owner of Artistik, a company that specializes in teaching fine arts to children ages four and older. Oluwatoyin has also researched various leading-edge modalities regarding children who have experienced brain-injuries similar to her son’s. Oluwatoyin’s teaching style encourages children to use their analytical and creative sides to analyze, solve and complete academic tasks. She is a professional artist and has homeschooled her two children since 2001.

Lovenda Burnett, Deputy Director of Pre-Camp Operations, is a transplanted D.C. native with educational roots at Benjamin Banneker Senior High and Howard University. She holds a B.A. degree in History with a minor in Biology. She believes in implementing creativity in all forms of learning and has shown leadership in many areas of her life (church, public school sector and non-profit organizations). She has been married for 13 years and has two children.

Maya Johnson, our Onsite Director, is a sophomore at Prince George’s Community College, majoring in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys working with children and teaching them at an early age. Ms. Johnson currently works with the afterschool program at Hyattsville Elementary School. Children absolutely love Ms. Johnson and she plans to own a Childhood Development Learning Center in the future.


Kahlil M. Kuykendall currently serves as the Program Coordinator for the Teen Parent Empowerment Program (T-PEP) at the Healthy Babies Project, in Washington, DC providing leadership and holistic services for collaborative, comprehensive services for pregnant and parenting teenagers. Prior to working with Healthy Babies Project, Mrs. Kuykendall worked for the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) as…
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the Deputy Director for the International Development Center working to promote and empower women throughout Africa, India and the Caribbean.

Her travel experiences for work and research include, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Japan, Israel, Senegal, Benin, Eritrea, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and India. She also served on the United Nations Association -United States America (UNA-USA) Board of Directors from 2005-2008. Mrs. Kuykendall is a certified prenatal and children’s yoga teacher and has worked in over thirty DCPS schools (private and public) teaching yoga. She is also part-time faculty member George Washington University – School of Public Health. Mrs. Kuykendall holds a master’s degree in Economics & International Development from Howard University and is married to Stanley Bryant, they live in Washington, DC with their four beautiful children.

Aminat Onafuwa started her education journey in Montessori Education. She is from Baltimore, Maryland and is from a Nigerian cultural background. She graduated from Mary Baldwin College with a Bachelors of Social Work. She earned her Masters of Education and her Montessori Elementary certification from Loyola College. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, arts and crafts, and spending time with friends and family.
Karen Mitchell has been married 24 years and she has homeschooled her four children for 13 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Bachelor Degrees in Engineering and Economics. Karen is a former NYC mathematics teacher, tutor, GED Math instructor, and adjunct professor. She currently teaches toddlers and teenagers at her homeschool cooperative.
Emunah Ammizahvad holds a B.S. in Nursing from the Pennsylvania State University and currently attends Loyola University of Maryland in pursuit of a Masters degree in Education with a concentration in Montessori for children ages 3 to 6. Emunah has twin sons and will be teaching in a D.C. public charter school in the fall. She is passionate about aiding young children to reach their full potential.

Jawana Msola holds a B.S. in Psychology and an Early Childhood Education Master of Art in Teaching (M.A.T.) from Howard University. She also holds a master certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). She is passionate about creating stimulating and interactive learning experiences for children. 

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She has been an educator for over 10 years in a variety of learning environments in both DC and MD schools as well as local camps. She was awarded a Master Teacher Award for ESF Summer Camps in MD. Jawana is currently home schooling her three children in MD.

Monica Reynolds holds a B.A. degree in biological sciences from Rutgers University, New Jersey. She worked in pharmaceutical and biotechnology labs for 12 years. She enjoys sharing paper crafting to scrapbook family memories, family stories, and family heritage. Monica has homeschooled her two children for five years.
Adirah Aishet-Tsalmiel holds a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science and a Master of Arts in Teaching. She has been an educator for over thirteen years with a passion to make learning fun for children of all ages. She has homeschooled her three sons since birth as part of her family day care and homeschool co-op.
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As a community educator, Adirah has taught workshops at schools and libraries encouraging healthy nutrition for the entire family.

In 2010, she resumed her Montessori journey and never turned back. She holds a Montessori 2 ½ -6 Primary Credential and Elementary from grade 1-6.

She continues to homeschool while teaching specialty classes at E. L. Haynes Public Charter School, providing science instruction to elementary and middle school students, and serving as an Adult Literacy Educator at the UDC Community College.

Majidah Muhammad holds a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a B.A. degree in Child Development. She has worked with newborn children to age 6. She currently teaches at Wheatley Education Campus in NE, DC. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading and exercising.
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From her travels she has learned to speak Spanish and is excited to share her cultural experiences with Kids and Culture Camp.


Vanessa Richardson is an Educational Specialist and has been teaching in Fresno Unified School District for over forty years. She designed the African American course of studies for Fresno Unified where she teaches African History, English, and Social Studies. Mrs. Richardson has served as an adjunct professor at California State University Fresno in the Education Department.
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She is also the past President of the African American Historical and Cultural Museum and past President of the African American Educators in Fresno, California.


Jessica Silva holds a B.S. degree in Hospitality Management and a minor in Teacher Education. She has worked with after-school tutoring and educational programs for youth ages 3 to 17. Jessica is the owner of Basic Training, Inc., a customer service and training consulting company. She is married and the mother of one son, who is homeschooled.
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She speaks Spanish and has traveled extensively throughout Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. Jessica is passionate about African and Latin culture and music.
Desta Wendirade holds an Associate degree in Arts Education. She has been an educator for 12 years with a passion for teaching young children. She is married and a mother of two. She was born in Ethiopia and lived in Bulgaria and Italy which has exposed her to a variety of cultures and languages.
Ambar Martinez holds an Associate degree in Child Development. She has worked as a before and after school coordinator for several years. Ambar works full-time at DC Bilingual Public Charter School.

Jennifer Muhammad holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Urban Studies and Planning, and is a wife and mother of four wonderful children. She is the Founder of the Little Genius Science & Math Program and enjoys teaching Spanish basics to children through fun songs and hands on activities. Jennifer has over 15 years of teaching experience.

Special Instructors

Ras Omar Kush has been teaching yoga in the Metro Washington Area for twenty years. He heads a Yoga for Youth Program in Ghana, West Africa and has taught Yoga for Youth at the Ideal Public Charter School, Maury Elementary, and Tyler Elementary. Mr. Kush was introduced to yoga when he was six 6 years old. He incorporates games and songs with yoga. Most importantly, he teaches yoga to children as a tool for self-control and accountability for one’s own behavior.

Mia Ballard holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and has a passion for hands-on, experiential, and social-emotional learning. She has been teaching children of all ages for over 10 years. Most of her teaching has been outdoors, using gardens as a space for interdisciplinary learning in which all subject areas and lesson types can be interwoven, with an emphasis on cooking, nutrition, and food education, art integration, and leadership development. She is currently a first/second grade Assistant Teacher at Two Rivers Public Charter School and a tutor. She has one infant son who inspires her every day.

Contra-Mestre Bomba was born in Bahia, Brazil, and has practiced capoeira for twenty-nine years. He later moved to Grupo Esquiva where he trained under Mestre Coentro, and in 1985 joined his current group, Grupo Barro Vermelho, where he has trained under Mestre Benivaldo. Bomba attained the rank of Professor, and was later promoted to Contra-Mestre. Contra-Mestre Bomba taught capoeira in Bahia, Brazil for eighteen years to both Brazilians and non-Brazilians.
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In addition to teaching adults, he was actively involved in his community teaching capoeira to young children. Since his relocation to Washington, D.C., he has taught at both the National Capital YMCA and the Sitar Arts Center. Contra Mestre Bomba is the only native Brazilian capoeirista teaching capoeira regional in the Washington, D.C. area and is the highest ranking instructor in the D.C. metro area.
Mahiri-Fadjimba Keita has been drumming for over 2 decades. He was a lead drummer at the age of 8 in Trenton, NJ and participated in his first international tour at 14, performing with the Maimouna Keita School of West African Dance Children’s and Adult Company (NY) at the Sorano Theater in Dakar, Senegal. Mahiri continues to commit his life to studying Mandingue drumming extensively with master musicians and historians of Mandingue and other West African traditions.
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He has toured internationally and nationally as a lead drummer with several professional performing companies. As a graduate of Tam Tam Mandingue (TTM), a school of percussion founded by Mamady Keita, he is the first appointed instructor in the US.
Baba-C, GMS ambassador, mentor, father, educator, motivator, cofounder of the Academy for Ideal Education and Summer L.I.F.T. (Learning Is Fun Time) – America’s foremost interactive Griot & Master Storyteller has been described as a “Creative force of Nature.” A career spanning more than three decades, Baba-C is a unique interactive Master Storyteller using stories, rhymes, chants, songs and narratives that pull the audience into the performance.
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A native Washingtonian, Baba-C has performed in a plethora of diverse venues in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area.
Princess McDuffie is a Supervisory Community Supervision Officer at the DC Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA). In her spare time she assists children with creative arts and crafts while volunteering with the art group at the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH). Mrs. McDuffie also provides mobile arts and crafts services for all ages. In the past, she has volunteered with SCRAP DC, a creative reuse, repurpose and environmentally-friendly resource in the Brookland neighborhood.
Israel Felix works is a licensed Radiology Technician and former EMT. He is CPR certified with 19 years medical experience in the military and as a civilian. Israel is a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer specializing in kids ages 3 and up. He is the fitness coordinator for Greenbelt Classical Conversations and will be starting a daytime fitness program for all ages at a local church.


Arlaysha Hood holds a B.S. degree in Human Development and Family Studies with minors in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She has worked with nonprofits for two years mentoring and encouraging youth ages 7-16 to succeed in academics, social/emotional development and everyday life. She is passionate about education for youth and helping them understand that life has many directions; it’s up to them to choose their path.
Janisha Richardson is responsible for Kids and Culture, LLC’s fiscal oversight and management. Ms. Richardson has over 15 years of public and private sector accounting experience. She currently is a managing member of Richardson and Moore, LLC where she works with small businesses in bookkeeping and tax preparation.
Raphael Evans is a sophomore at Bowie State University, majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Digital Cinema. Raphael became a camera operator at age 15 and currently works with his church and at Hyattsville Elementary School. Raphael works closely with Kids and Culture Camp to capture and produce its on location videos and other digital media projects.

Join Our Team

We like to expand young minds. We need incredible and passionate people to help us grow young learners. Work with us to teach curious minds, take on a supportive role, or even help lead KCC.

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