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Cerstin Johnson

Class of 2008 – Born in Metairie, LA to four siblings and a single mother who taught her what stories are made of from a very young age. An avid writer throughout most of her childhood, Cerstin first discovered playwriting after she relocated to Washington, DC in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Under the tutelage of Mark A. Williams at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Cerstin wrote and read many plays as well as continued to explore other writing forms in high school. Cerstin is currently a graduating senior at Smith College in Northampton, MA where she majors in theatre with a minor in education. Playwrights that inspire her include Adrienne Kennedy, Katori Hall, and Lynn Nottage. She hopes to take the next year off for writing and applying to MFA playwriting programs.

Maimouna Youssef

Class of 2002 – Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef is a Grammy nominated seasoned singer, songwriter, producer and emcee. She received a Grammy nomination for her contribution on the Roots hit “Don’t Feel Right” in 2007 for best rap song. She has swapped musical licks with such artists as Angelique Kidjo, Brian Wilson’s band, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Dead Prez, Wilco, Zap Mama, Cody Chestnut, Martin Luther, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli. Maimouna has also rocked the stages of many renowned venues such as Denver Colorado ‘s Red Rocks Amphitheater, New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, Switzerland’s Moniteau Jazz Festival, and The Carter Baron Amphitheater in Washington, DC. Her musical endeavors were a springboard for Youssef to make her big screen debut in Dave Chapelle’s hip hop documentary “Block Party.” Maimouna released her first Solo EP entitled Black Magic Woman March 1, 2011 and her first full length album – The Blooming on September 20, 2011.