Beyond Akeela is proud to boast 1 adult for every 3 teens on the program. More essential than the number of staff is the quality of personnel that we employ. At Beyond Akeela, every teen benefits from the care, spirit and skills of each staff member. We undertake extraordinary lengths to find the best of the best, to ensure that teens have the safest, most fun and most transformative experience possible. They approach each summer with the energy, dedication and sense of humor that make it evident how much they enjoy and truly “get” Beyond Akeela teens!
This incredible group of people includes experts in the fields of child development, psychology, special education, therapeutic interventions, and health care. All of this combined expertise helps ensure that every Beyond Akeela teen receives the individualized care and attention that he or she requires to have a successful summer.
Beyond Akeela Directors
Kevin and Kristin Trimble live in Philadelphia, PA with their twin boys, Arlo and Simon, and their dog, Laney. Kevin has worked at Akeela for over ten summers. He started in 2009 as an Accounting Intern and has spent his other summers as a Program Director, Head Counselor, and Beyond Akeela Director. In October 2013, he joined Akeela’s full-time staff and is now the year round director of Beyond Akeela. He is responsible for everything Beyond Akeela, including camper and staff recruitment, program planning, staff training, and parent communication. When he’s not working on camp, he enjoys playing basketball, golf, and traveling to see friends.
Kristin joined the Akeela team in 2015 as a counselor, and has spent every summer since engaged in the Akeela community, including several seasons as a Beyond Akeela Head Counselor. When she’s not at camp, Kristin is a school & mental health counselor at a middle school in Philadelphia. She obtained her graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University, and has focused her career on high school aged students. Kristin brings her counseling expertise to camp and focuses on the social and emotional well being of our teens. During the off-season, Kristin works closely with Kevin to build the Beyond Akeela curriculum and meets with each new family. When she’s not focused on camp, Kristin enjoys playing in a local volleyball league (with Kevin!), exploring Philadelphia, and finding new recipes to try at home!
Beyond Akeela Assistant Director
Pratishta (“Prat”) Natarajan is pursuing her Master’s in Social Work at New York University and has extensive experience working with neurodivergent children and adolescents, including Beyond Akeela Summer 2022 as the Transition cohort Head Advisor. She has researched evidence-based assessments to examine improvements in social communication behavior and has led numerous social-skills training groups. Prat is committed to empowering adolescents to embrace their uniqueness. Through her work, she aims to equip adolescents with the skills they need to let their strengths shine. In her free time, Prat loves taking martial arts classes, cooking Indian food, and trying to discover the best coffee in New York City.
Foundation Head Advisor
Judissa (“Judy”) Martinez graduated from Montclair State University with a BA in Religious Studies and has been teaching English to many students across the globe ever since. Her commitment to teaching others has been a great passion of hers from an early age. Judy has been fortunate to teach a variety of diverse learners from different backgrounds. Her passion for teaching and traveling has taken her to Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, France, Spain, and many more unforgettable places.
When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys spending time with her friends, and planning itineraries for her future travels across the world. She loves trying new food, visiting museums, and learning new languages. She is always on the move looking for an adventure. Her hobbies are learning new skills such as playing the violin, painting, CrossFit, swimming and making maps.
While Debbie & Eric (Camp Akeela’s Directors) spend their summers at our camp program in Vermont, they are intimately involved in all aspects of Beyond Akeela. In addition to pre-summer planning and logistical support, Debbie and Eric are in constant communication with Kevin, Kristin, and their team throughout the summer. The heart and soul of Akeela is truly infused into Beyond Akeela!
Camp Akeela Directors
Debbie and Eric met at a summer camp and have been partners in camping ever since. They have each held virtually every job available at camp, from bunk counselor and swim instructor to unit head and camp director. Throughout their careers, Debbie and Eric have always found themselves gravitating towards the “quirky” kids. Opening Akeela enabled them to create an empowering community for boys and girls who thrive in traditional camp setting with a little extra social support.