AKUYOE GRAHAM

Founder/CEO

Award-winning actor, author and educator Akuyoe Graham founded Spirit Awakening in 1995 to give detained and at-risk youth the internal and external tools to grow beyond their circumstances. Spirit Awakening is named after Akuyoe's critically acclaimed one-woman show, which details her physical and emotional voyage from Ghana to Britain to New York.

MASAUSO CHIUMYA

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

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A graduate of Intercollege in Larnaca, Cyprus, and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, USA, Masauso Chiumya is the Creative Director of Spirit Awakening. Masauso believes in the power of imagination and originality as powerful tools for design, and that an artist should be flexible to adapt to modern forms of expressions to communicate. “Life is art and an artist is a medium,” he thinks.

BERTRAND CHRISTIAN ESQ.

treasurer

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Bert Christian has served on the board and been a supporter of the Spirit Awakening Foundation for the past 11 years. His ambition has always been to give back a measure of service for the support and encouragement he received from others during his formative years. He lives in Mar Vista, Los Angeles with his spouse Tery Arnold, a dog, two cats and several freshwater fish.

LYNN KITCHEN

BOARD CHAIR

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Lynn Kitchen has been with Spirit Awakening since its inception 20 years ago. She is passionate about mentoring at-risk and incarcerated youth, and is currently developing a empowerment program called “Mentor UP for Youth.” Lynn is passionate about helping others to achieve their dreams, live purposefully and contribute to an enlightened world.

YAHNIIE BRIDGES

GRADUATE PROGRAM COORDINATOR

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Yahniie Bridges is a former Spirit Awakening student with an immense desire to give back to her community. A veteran of the foster care, juvenile justice, and mental health systems, she says: "My experience doesn't make me a victim; it makes me an incredible guide."