Akela is a classical soprano, music educator, theatre director, and arts administrator originally from Oakland, California. She comes from a family of non-profit workers and has been passionate about community engagement and advocacy for equity from a young age. As a teenager, Akela frequently volunteered with Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network , an organization founded in 2004 by her mother, Melia Franklin. Through observing Melia and her colleagues dedicate themselves to empowering low income, immigrant parents of color to advocate for their children in California's inequitable school system, Akela became inspired to one day use her own strengths and skill set to make a difference in the non-profit sector. Fast forward about ten years... with its emphasis in music, education, inclusion, and social action, YoFES ended up being a natural fit!
Akela has served as Mishella Etienne-Campbell's assistant since September 2019 and has been affiliated with YoFES since 2018. In addition to her work at YoFES, she teaches and performs in a variety of venues across the city. Akela holds a Bachelor of Music from University of Puget Sound (2015) and Master of Music from Longy School of Music of Bard College (2018).
Dr. Guy Apollon
Project SMART Coordinator
MD, MSW, LCSW
Dr. Apollon's medical focus is in tropical dermatology, with a sub-specialty in the study and treatment of leprosy. He has also worked for more than a decade in the sexual health field, during which time he has mastered the development and implementation of effective sexual education programming. Prior to his recent retirement, Dr. Apollon provided medical care to seniors at the North Shore Haitian Adult Day Health Center in Malden, MA for 24 years.
In addition to his medical expertise, Dr. Apollon is also a licensed social worker. For many years, he has been dedicated to providing social services to Haitian Immigrants in the greater Boston area. He was recognized in 2011 by Boston University's School of Social Work as the "Social Worker of the Year."
Dr. Apollon has served the coordinator of YoFES's targeted health initiative, Project SMART, since September of 2019.
Youth Programs Communication & Education Intern
Praised for her "beautiful tone", ability to connect with her audience and "effortless stage presence", Amy Onyonyi is a talent to look out for. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. She was mentored and trained by sopranos Audrey Statler and Sara Goldstein, whose students have gone on to grace important opera stages across the world, including the Metropolitan Opera. Amy has had the privilege of singing for His Excellency the President of Kenya on multiple occasions; twice at The National Prayer Breakfast. She has also performed at The Boston Symphony Hall and performed solo concerts in Nairobi's premier venues. Amy currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts and teaches voice and piano lessons.