Kids for Tomorrow has assembled an expert team of advisors to help steer our program, raise funds and enable our team on the ground to be more effective in our mission.
Meet the people behind Kids for Tomorrow.
Samantha Tannehill has traveled the world as an international model since 2000. Traveling to the slums of Africa on numerous occasions brought her face-to-face with the cruel reality of true life struggle. Coming from a small town in Texas, she was raised by a family who was very involved in politics and non-profit work. Her mother was an avid volunteer in the community and showed Sam what it meant to help others and what a crucial role education plays in having a better outcome for the future. Going into schools in the slums of Africa, Samantha was impressed with both the will and drive of the children to get an education.
Sam sees this as an opportunity to create relationships with school communities in developing nations based on communication, trust and understanding. She also seeks to help students through assistance with educational initiatives such as the building of schools and the sponsorship of students and teachers. Living in New York City has allowed Samantha to make many invaluable contacts and friends who have lent their support in helping her achieve this dream. Through the work of Kids for Tomorrow, this dream is becoming a reality.
Gust Kepler is the CEO of the Blackboxstocks, Inc. Blackboxstocks is a unique financial technology and social media platform offering both web and mobile based analytical software tools for stock and options traders of all levels Kepler is a firm believer in the adage that simplicity sells. Kepler’s mission as a cofounder and developer of Blackbox is to offer the general public the best financial technology tool in a simple and user-friendly format. In addition to overseeing all aspects of product development, Kepler is responsible for strategic planning, marketing and corporate financial decisions.
J.D. Roeser is a fashion stylist and retail consultant residing in New York City. His creative vision stems from a childhood love for high fashion magazines and beautiful photography. He has always had an appreciation for art that sets a cultural tone. JD studied at The Art Institute of Seattle and moved to Los Angeles following his graduation. He began his career in fashion creating in-store visuals which lead him to becoming a fashion editor and stylist for celebrities and global brands. He met Samantha on a photo shoot 12 years ago. Inspired by her non profit work and dedication to helping children, he soon travelled to Africa with Sam and Kids For Tomorrow and completely fell in love with the organization and everyone he met. JD continues to work closely with KFT through fundraising, events, and school visits.
Ssanyu is a deeply spiritual soul; an empathetic healer who makes you feel at peace from the moment you sense her presence. Her Ugandan ancestral Bone Healing medicine and healing art of Shamanic Reiki, combined with a Master of Science degree in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, help to inform her groundbreaking practice. Ssanyu guides hearts and minds to be receptive, helping them learn how to transform the embodied experiences of pain, illness, suffering and trauma into meaning. Through the confrontation and connection to these stories, which often escape description, one is able to connect with the self and heal.
M.S. Narrative Medicine, Bone Healer
For over twenty years, April has been a fashion model working around the world. Through these travels, she found her passion for food and helping others. It was on a visit to Africa with Kids for Tomorrow that April saw first-hand the importance of education and the power it has to change the course of one person’s life and impact a community forever. She recently graduated from Hunter College with a M.S. in clinical nutrition and is committed to motivating and empowering others with knowledge to meet their individualized nutrition goals.
Melissa helped start Kids for Tomorrow in 2004 while completing a Master's in International Education at NYU. While she's always had a passion for both education and social justice, she she was moved to do more after spending a summer in South Africa studying how the education system had changed post-apartheid. She believes that education is a fundamental human right, and that all children should have the opportunity to go to school.
Jackie Collins has experience as a professional dancer, dance teacher, choreographer and executive director in the dance field. Her recent accomplishment is co founding FILLIN - an innovative artist agency, representing unique artists and disciplines from around the world. Artists spanning from illustration, typography to street art + graffiti.
She feels passionately about giving back and is thrilled to serve on the board of KFT, as a parent, and philanthropist she strives to give back.
Anastasia is South African born and has a passion for helping people. After traveling and living all over the world she is now settled in Los Angeles.
She is certified as a life coach and uses that skill with compassion when working for clients as a Marketing & Brand Director. She brings her experience in this to Kids For Tomorrow where she assists in partnerships, events, and marketing. She spends her free time learning about herbalism and going on hikes with her husband and dog.
Brand & Marketing Expert
The architect of the Starr African Rum brand, Jeffrey Zarnow serves as Founder, Chairman and CEO of Starr African Rum LLC, overseeing the company’s operations and all aspects of bringing the new “ultra superior light” rum brand to market. Leveraging relationships built in the film, TV, music and marketing industries over the last twenty plus years – including those with some of the trendiest bars and clubs in New York and Los Angeles – Zarnow is developing marketing initiatives and entertainment partnerships to ensure that Starr remains on the rise.