Ty Gerald Burrell, son of Sheri Rose (Hauck), a teacher, and Gary Gerald Burrell, a family therapist, earned a BA from Southern Oregon University and an MFA from Penn State. His credits include: Black Hawk Down, Dawn of the Dead, Law & Order, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Finding Dory and Rough Night. Most notably, Ty received 5 Emmy nominations and 2 wins, for his popular role as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family.
In 2019, Ty was the inaugural recipient of the Gary Burrell Humanitarian Award, named in honor of Ty's father's selfless service in social work in support of foster youth.
Despite being born the daughter of a poor sharecropper and a maid, Joni Bovill went on to become the first in her family to graduate college. The multi-talented Mississippi native is best known for her recurring role as Ida in Amazon's hit show, Bosch. Additional TV and film credits include All Rise, How to Get Away with Murder, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, Shameless, Animal Kingdom, Life in Pieces, Sony Pictures' Concussion and Netflix's Come Sunday.
Joni has been married to fellow actor, Kirk, for 26 years. Both are devoted foster care advocates and licensed foster caregivers.
Kirk Bovill is an actor, writer, songwriter and producer with 100+ credits, including Oscar nominated films “Vice” and “21st Century Women”, and TV roles on HBO's Winning Time, CSI, NCIS, American Horror Story, Criminal Minds, Shameless, Young Seldon, Hawaii Five 0, Brooklyn Nine Nine among others. He’s known in the video game world for his portrayal of Dick in Dead Rising 3. He and his wife, Joni launched the indie record label, Elmo Records and released two critically acclaimed CDs and have licensed their music for film and TV projects.
Kirk and Joni are licensed foster parents.
Emmy Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated Patrice Covington has been seen all over the globe with all-star Broadway casts and with her original music. Most recently, Patrice starred as Erma Franklin on Genius: Aretha and as Roz in the World Premier of The Heart of Rock and Roll, a new musical set to the hits of Rock and Roll superstar Huey Lewis. Patrice also played the role of Squeak in the 2015 The Color Purple revival, as well as shining in
Barry Gordy's Motown the Musical, and Broadway tours of Ain't Misbahvin', Dreamgirls and The Book of Mormon.
Nadine Ellis is an actress, known for films Hairspray, Iron Man 2, Live Free or Die Hard and for the Fox drama, Our Kind of People.
Nadine's TV credits also include Let's Stay Together, Shameless, Country Comfort, Stuck with You, Jane the Virgin, NCIS: Los Angeles, Greenhouse Academy and Lucifer.
Nadine also starred alongside our youth in KITS short film, Love Just Is.
George is a Producer and Actor, born in Albania with Greek roots. George has appeared on shows including: Days of Our Lives, Code Black, Girl Boss, The Colony, and New Girl (playing Zoey Deschanel's boyfriend Stavros). During this time, George began honing his producing chops under his company Alpha Wolves TV with David Mahmoudieh, producing projects for Porsche, Google, Mercedes and more.
George has produced Bully, Parallel, Kurupted, and Death's Possessions for
Kids In The Spotlight.
A 3-time Emmy Award nominee, Jon Lindstrom has been seen in studio movies, independent films and literally thousands of hours of TV; including: A Dark Foe (alongside Selma Blair and Graham Greene), Diary of a Spy, Ten-Cent Daisy, Bosch, True Detective and more. An award-winning filmmaker, his feature directing debut, How We Got Away With It, received worldwide distribution after winning multiple film festival accolades.
Jon has directed A Majestic Wish and Karma's a B... for Kids In The Spotlight.
David Mahmoudieh is a director, writer and producer. His production company, Alpha Wolves TV, doesn't fear the impossible, but embraces it. David was selected as one of 15 directors for 2022's Sony Diverse Directors Program. Some of David's directorial work includes: Ringo Starr: Let's Change The World, Superman & Lois, Snake Dick, Lovebug, Furry Bastards, Exorcist Academy, Coldplay: Lost, Davina Leone: Up All Night, Worth, and Rain.
David has directed Bully, Parallel, Kurupted, Death's Possessions, and Answer That for Kids In The Spotlight.
Actor, writer, and director, Alphonso McAuley, is best known for films Glory Road, Walk of Shame, Fat Albert., The Hyperions, His TV credits include: Schooled, Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History, The Middle, Love That Girl!, Girlboss, Breaking In and more.
He is currently in production on The Present, co-starring with Isla Fisher and Greg Kinnear.
Alphonso has directed The Living Exhibit, Cyverius, Staying True, Intertwined, and Camp Little Cub for KITS, as well as serving as producer for Sabor Del Exito.
Three-time Emmy winning actress, producer, and director Cady McClain began her professional acting career at the age of 9. She has starred in films like My Favorite Year, Pennies From Heaven, Alma Mater, Retreat, and Simple Justice. Her TV credits include Law & Order: SVU, Cheers, St. Elsewhere, All My Children, As the World Turns, and
Days of Our Lives.
Cady has directed Burnt Feathers, Broken Wings (Winner, Best Social Justice Film, at Santa Fe Film Festival, Winner, Best Short Documentary, at Mystic Film Festival), The Last Day, and The Missing Piece for KITS.
Mo McRae is a multi-talented actor, producer and director. His film credits include: Wild, Lee Daniels' The Butler, and The First Purge. His TV credits include: The Flight Attendant, Big Little Lies, Rebel, Almost Family, Sons of Anarchy, Empire, Pitch, Murder in the First, This Is Us, and Ray Donovan. McRae's directorial work includes All Rise, Starkeisha, and A Lot of Nothing.
Mo has directed Rainy Days (currently in post production), Trapped Within, Heaven's Hard Pitches, Team Spirit and The Other Side for Kids In The Spotlight.
Actress, producer, writer, comedian, and CEO of Latin Hollywood Films Inc and of Omni Cultural TV and Omni Cultural TV Fest, Kiki stumbled into comedy while living near the Comic Strip in NYC and soon became one of America's top female performers. She created the first bilingual entertainment show, Kiki Desde Hollywood, as well as the all-female cross-cultural Kiki Meléndez'
Hot Tamales Live!.
Kiki brought her famous Hot Tamales Live! comedy show to The Comedy Store, hosted by Zulay Henao, as a fundraiser for KITS.
Robert Munic is an Emmy and DGA award nominated writer, director and producer. He created and launched Power Book IV: Force, A&E's The Cleaner and ICE. Other executive producer/writer credits include: TALES, Empire, Star, Murder in the First, Gang Related, and Vital Signs, starring Dr. Dre.
Munic wrote feature Fighting, starring Channing Tatum and Terrance Howard. He served as writer, director and producer on Showtime's They Call Me Sirr.
Munic has directed Vigil, System Failure, Caged, I'm Not Normal and Perfect Chemistry for Kids In The Spotlight.
German-born Celebrity Fashion and Costume Designer Kara Saun is the creative genius behind the wickedly whimsical costumes of The Disney Channel's Descendants (1-3). Other notable Costume Design projects include "Zapped", starring Zendaya, The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration, America's Best Dance Crew, What I Like About You, Eve and 10 Comedy Central Roasts.
Kara Saun - The Fashion FairyGodmother - has helped style KITS youth on set for films (Trapped Within, The Angel of St. Catherine's Academy, Little Orphan Hermione) as well as for their big night, the KITS Film Awards.
Kelsey Scott is an actress and writer, known for both TV & film. Her credits include: Insecure, Fear the Walking Dead: Passage, How to Get Away with Murder, 12 Years a Slave, Giants, Dynasty, True Detective, Hollywood Girl, NCIS, Treme, Criminal Minds and The Robert Guillaume Show.
Kellee Stewart is a film & TV actress, best known for films: Guess Who, Hot Tub Time Machine, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Love by the 10th Date. Her TV credits include:
My Boys, All American, Cherish the Day, The Soul Man, Black-ish, and Midnight, Texas.
Kellee has starred alongside our youth in Heaven's Hard Pitches for KITS.
Claudia Wells is an actress and producer, known best for Back to the Future, Back to the Future: The Game, Fast Times, Off the Rack, Herbie the Love Bug [TV series], The Comeback Kids, and CBS Schoolbreak Special.
Claudia has starred alongside our youth in System Failure and You Are Not Alone for Kids In The Spotlight.
Ariel Winter is one of Hollywood's most promising young talents with notable roles in both television and film. Ariel stars in ABC's critically acclaimed hit, Modern Family, alongside fellow KITS Ambassador and TV dad, Ty Burrell. Further, Ariel stars in Sofia the First, as well as Mr. Peabody & Sherman. She also has TV credits from: Law & Order: SVU, ER, Criminal Minds, Bones, Phineas and Ferb, and Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred.
In 2021, Ariel starred alongside our youth in Bully, the winning script from our inaugural KITS National Short Screenplay Competition.