Richard Amewugah was born and raised in Amasaman-Accra, Ghana. Richard has been dancing and drumming all his life and started teaching dance in 2005. In 2008, Richard founded the Keno Company and began working with international students. Richard’s idea for The Keno Project came from his philosophy that everyone deserves the opportunity to discover and develop their natural talents. He grew up in a poor family, the youngest of six brothers and six sisters. Richard is the only one in his family who can read. Teachers saw his potential at a young age and encouraged his parents to support his education. Richard sees the difference education has made in his life, and he wants to give others the opportunity to find their talents and break the cycle of poverty. Using his own talent for dance, Richard is able to help Ghanaians improve their quality of life and offer a valuable educational experience for international students.
Jenny Wagner, Co-Founder & Director (USA)
Jenny Wagner was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, where she earned a B.A. in International Affairs at the University of Colorado. She first traveled to Ghana to volunteer as an HIV/AIDS educator. She quickly fell in love with traditional Ghanaian dance and music and was inspired to develop a program that integrated African arts and service learning. Jenny’s interest in community development began while volunteering in a Roma (“gypsy”) community in Eastern Europe, and later led her across Africa, Asia, and Central America. She is particularly enthusiastic about exchange-based development models that help cultivate existing talents within communities. Jenny's passion for improving the way we live has since taken her back home to Colorado, where she works as an environmental educator at a sustainable nature center. She believes that providing opportunities for American students to learn from the developing world that will make us all better leaders and problem solvers.
Marissa Hallo, Instructor- Intercultural Learning Seminar (USA)
Caitlin Brzezinski, Co-founder, Marketing Manager and Administrative Director (USA)
Born in Santa Barbara, California, Caitlin spent several years volunteering in various theater marketing and administrative positions. She traveled to Ghana for the first time as a volunteer HIV/AIDS educator. Caitlin is currently pursuing a degree in Acting and Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Bennington College in Vermont, examining the ways in which the performing arts can encourage cross-cultural communication.
Eliza Sprague, Co-founder and Operations Manager (USA)
Eliza grew up just north of Chicago in a community steeped in the feverish excitement of activism. Her father is an environmental lawyers and her mother spent years writing grants for nonprofit organizations. As a girl she was profoundly inspired by their dedication to improving the lives of people across the country. Following a growing passion for activism and anthropology, she spent her first two years of college in an experiential cross-cultural learning program called Global College, carrying out extensive field work in Costa Rica, India, and Scotland. She is working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology and community development from Bennington College. Eliza believes in education as a powerful driving force for positive community development and she hopes through this project to create an environment of learning and experimentation that will have life-changing benefits for both the community of Govinakrom and the students who attend the program.
Jeff Wagner, Co-founder and Program Advisor (USA)
Jeff Wagner works as an experiential educator for NOLS in the remote mountains of the American West. Studying dance and music in Ghana, he found that spending time immersed in foreign cultures encourages growth in the same ways as other experiential education. Jeff spends his time taking students into unfamiliar environments and helping them to grow and thrive. With the Keno Project, Jeff applies his broad base of education knowledge to the intercultural experience. To Jeff, Ghana is an ideal classroom where students come face-to-face with the emerging trends of the modern developing world. He believes that true understanding and personal development come from extended experiences in new places. Jeff spends his free time playing mandolin and dancing tango.
Derek Kwame Sam, Percussion Instructor (Ghana)
Aaron Quarshie Amuzu, Language Instructor (Ghana)
Honorable Francis Yipi, Community Partner and Assemblyman of Govinakrom (Ghana)