Project AWARE Contracted Staff

Carl Lakari, Project AWARE Coordinator and Co-Founder, co-founded the organization in 2003. Carl brings 30 years of experience as a housing developer and consultant providing facilitation, consulting, program coordination, and resource development services. In recovery for over 20 years, Carl has first-hand knowledge of addiction and issues surrounding substance abuse. He wants Project AWARE to be a place for teens to use their gifts and passions to make a difference. His ultimate vision and goal is to tame his ego, be quiet, and get out of the way so young people can truly lead. He lives is Saco, Maine with his daughter Nadia.

Diana Otis, Program Coordinator, is a masters of public health. She specializes in community health and technology engagement. Diana aims to stimulate youth empowerment through creating safe outlets for expression. Together with Sebastion Rea she is working on a youth-created community film project that gives voices to at-risk young people, and combats violence with storytelling. She is also a board member of Sol Dance Center in New York, which promotes community wellness through movement.

Sebastian Rea, Film Producer, is an award winning filmmaker and producer. He also is the founder of the 30UNDER30 Film Festival, a unique platform for young storytellers to share their work with the world. He is a alumni of the Smithsonian Institute Young Ambassador Program, an Aspen Institute 2015 Scholar, and a Council of Urban Professionals Fellow. He was also Tribeca Enterprises’ Content Manager for five years. His current project, a feature film about urban youth and their exposure to gun violence in New York City, is being developed in the IFP No Borders Lab.

Katey Branch, Co-Founder, co-founded Project AWARE in 2003. A gifted facilitator and long-time community minded advocate for young people she lives in South Paris, Maine, teaches yoga and is a massage therapist and mother of two children – now adults, Emma and Ruby.

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