MEET OUR STAFF
Hello Everyone, I am Leila Wells, founder of Colfax Summer and Winter Camp and now Season Explorers Program.
I am originally from Brazil – 2nd child of a family that adopted 2 other children and taught me that to share is ok, and also to respect mother nature and its environment because they can bring you happiness! Yes, my Mother loved children as well animals and she was a person who rescued animals and loved the outdoors. Me, I Graduated in Pedagogy as well Marketing and Advertising. Taught Kindergarten and 1st grade for 6 years in public and private schools in my home town Ubatuba (a beautiful city surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean) and also in the big city of Sao Paulo. Passionate for traveling and meeting new people my adventure came when I decided to go bodyboarding in Mexico, more precise in Oaxaca – Mexico. Out there I learned how to speak Spanish and respect the ocean and its limitations (they have big waves out there). Fascinated with everything that I learned and discovered, I decided that was time to learn English. I came to Los Angeles , Ca in 1993 and was living for a while in Seal Beach, went to Cypress College to learn English as a second language for 6 months and transferred to Santa Monica College. Finally went to Ucla Extension to learn about Interior Design, another passion of mine. Got a job at Beverly Wilshire Hotel doing interior design with flowers and met my “Prince” Mike Wells, that at the time was also working at the hotel.
A native Studio City resident, he introduced me to the Valley and I felt that I was home again. Valley Village is a community that reminds me my home town in Brazil, where people say hello to you and stop by to talk with you when you are walking your dog. Well, the rest is history … the Valley turned into my permanent home, where we raised our twin boys and my heart fell in love to this cute school surrounded by trees and an area with few sheep. I said to my husband, “ I want our kids to go there”, he agreed”. I started to volunteering at the school and getting to know the teachers and principal and applied to work there. It has been 15 years and I am proud to say that I am a “Valley Girl” and I absolutely love this Community and the opportunity they gave me.
Constructions took place, but we are doing our best not to lose our roots and keeping reaching to the stars and continuing giving the best education to this amazing community. In the main time for the safety of my campers I relocated my program and incorporated a new curriculum, that will give an opportunity to be even closer to nature and learn about bigger farm animals, as well learn more about agriculture and its benefits. Well, here we are. Welcoming you to our next step and new program “Season Explorers.”Remember, what a child needs the most is love, respect and an opportunities to be listened, chance to make mistakes and encouragements to try again. Thank you, Leila Wells Camp Coordinator/Founder
During this 15 years, I learned a lot and continue learning. Besides working in the school and coordinating the science lab, I also created “The Colfax Summer and Winter Camp” that has been running for 10 years. An Enrichment Program where kids age 4 1/2 to 12 years old can spend quality time learning and discovering throughout leadership and sportsmanship in a safe and familiar environment, at our own campus at Colfax, where I also expanded the animals area bringing other kinds and making a place that the students and campers can learn and have fun the same time. Now, the neighborhood is growing, and so has our Colfax Charter Elementary.
Hello, my name, is Trevor Hendershott and I am 24 years old, currently studying agriculture and animal science. I have participated in FFA (Future Farmers of America) and now coach and teach it. I am all about helping to create strong young leaders and to inform young ones all about plants and animals. This year of 2018 is my third summer with Mrs. Leila Wells and I am very excited to be joining her at Season Explorers. I am looking forward to meet you all.
Hello Parents, my name is Patrick Wells and I am also Mrs. Leila Wells’ son. I have a twin brother and as he mentioned in his bio, we started coming to camp since our Mother started the program in 2008. Along with the other kids we suggested many ideas over the years for the weeks themes and one of my favorites still Lego Week and Sports Week. Every year the campers keep asking us to do it again, and now it stays on. We have got so many Legos over the years that we can absolutely build with them for a month! Now, the sports and obstacle course week, I will always vote to keep, because we are getting better and better every year, and the whole camp participates. No one is left behind. We teach, promote and encourage all the kids to participate, even if they do not like sports. We work at their own pace, and we show them the fun of participating and sometimes working as a team. I am a duathlete, and I love to run and ride my bike. I am also a student at Pepperdine University and I am loving learning and being part of a such fine institution, where they teach you a little bit more then your academics, but also to respect one another. I am looking forward to being with your child this Summer or Winter break, and I hope I can create an impact in their lives and we can create memories for a life time. See you all at Season Explorers!
Hi am Nawar! I have been a part of Colfax Summer and winter Camp for the past few years and I am very excited to be part of Season explorers this summer. I am a recent graduate from California State University Northridge with a B.A. in Business Marketing and Management, and I am anticipating the start of graduate school in the fall. I currently teach science at Egghead Science Academy and hope to continue working with children long into my future. When I am not working or studying I try to read as many books as I possibly can or paint as a creative outlet, a cup of tea while doing either hobby is always a plus. I am an avid animal lover and I am a massive fan of outdoors. Hiking, swimming, climbing, and essentially anything within nature is wonderful. I look forward to sharing all my interests and so much more with all of the children this summer, as they in turn will share with me their laughter, curiosity, and of course joy.
Hello, my name is Timothy Wells, and I am Mrs Leila Wells’ son. I have been part of Colfax Summer and Winter Camp since 2008, where I was a camper. Years later I was Jr. Coach and on my High School years I continued volunteering and by then I knew all the campers that came to the camp and also the coaches. I started to appreciate and understanding more my Mom’s program. Responsibility, care and dedication is definitely there. Now in 2018, I am currently finishing my 1st year as freshman at Pepperdine University – I study Sports Medicine and I run Cross Country and Track and Field for my University. This past winter I was officially a coach because I was mature enough and able to handle the campers, advising and helping them as they need in any circumstance or care. I am also really excited with our new location and new program – Season Explorers, because nature is other subject that I absolutely love and respect and I can’t wait to explorer with the children. I also love to help create the obstacle course and later see the happiness on each child participating and having fun. I am looking forward to seeing you this Summer or Winter break and getting to know your family.
Hi Everyone!!! My name is Zeltsin Herrera, I am 19 years old and I love nature, children and animals. I am super excited to be part of Season Explorers. I started as a volunteer and was a great opportunity for me, because I learned a lot about Mrs. Wells Program and the dedication they put into it made me come back each day. Starting last winter 2017 I was officially a coach and I could not be happier. I love my community and to guide new leaders. See you at Season Explorers!!
Hi my name is Yamilet Cadenas or as the kids know me… Ms. Yami. I am a teacher’s assistant at Colfax Charter Elementary. I have my bachelors degree in Child and Adolescents Development. I’ve been working with kids for over five years, ages ranging from 3 months old to the fifth grade. I’m excited to meet you all this summer!
My name is Michelle Morter I am 20 years old and currently finishing my sophomore year at Cal State Northridge. I am majoring in Communications Sciences and Disorders emphasizing in American sign language hoping one day to become an interpreter or a teacher for deaf children. I am currently working as a teacher’s aide for two third grade classes at Colfax Elementary. I’ve been working with kids for quite some time now. Before working at Colfax I was a cheer coach for a gym in Simi Valley (California Bombshellz). I worked with kids between the ages of 3 to 13 and seeing them accomplish their cheer goals always warmed my heart. I’ve always been an active person and working with kids has always been a passion of mine. My passion for kids is as big as my passion for nature, animals and Disneyland. I am the oldest of two. My little sister is nine years old and I am always taking her on hiking trips. I try to share the knowledge I know of nature and animals with her. I am very excited to work with Mrs. Leila Wells and meet the new season explorers this summer. See you soon!
Hi Season Explorers! My name is Delaney Klace. I am 17 years old and I attend Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City. I was a student at Colfax and even took science classes with Ms. Leila for 6 years! I have worked at Colfax Camp for the past few summers as a junior counselor, and I could not be more thrilled to be joining the Season Explorers family this summer. I am a competitive soccer player, as I play for my high school along with a club team during the off-season. When I am not attending school or playing soccer, I love to spend time with my family, friends, and my two golden retrievers, Archie and Gus. When I graduate from high school, my goal is to study medicine in college and ultimately become a pediatrician. I truly have a passion for working with children, which is why I am so grateful to get to spend my summer with all of you guys! I look forward to meeting you soon
Hi I’m Lauren! I am 18 years old and from Burbank. I graduated from John Burroughs High School and I will continue my education at the University of La Verne. I am very excited to get to spend time this summer at Season Explorers connecting with the children, nature, animals and fun activities that we prepared for all the Explorers! I spent time volunteering at Season Explorers before, but this year I am coming back as a coach l and I can’t wait to get to know all of you and have a great summer.
Hi! I am Coach Carlos and I love to play sports! I am also crazy about animals and my favorite subject in school is science. In the future I want to be and a doctor. This is my 3rd year working along with Mrs. Wells and I am super excited with our new location and curriculum at Season Explorers. Our goal is to help the explorer to be creative, independent and communicative. Most of all respect one another. We will together learn fascinating things about unique plants and animals, agriculture, cropping and its benefits. We’ll also do lots of arts and play sports to fulfill our day. I absolutely love to be a coach and I feel that I am at the right place and I know your children will too. See you all this summer!
My name is Thamid Allan, but my family, friends, and the kids by now call me “ Simba” a nickname that I have since I was a kid. I am 21 years old and I am studying Astrophysics, hoping to be a professor one day. I have volunteered at Mrs. Wells’ previous Colfax Summer and Winter Camp for the past three years and I am looking forward to be a coach this year at Season Explorers. See you all this summer.
Hello Everyone! I’m Coach Samantha, but you can call me Coach Sam. I love working
with children and animals as they bring me so much joy. At the LA Zoo, I have worked with the giant river otters, maned wolf, and the tapirs as a part of my high school program. Some of my hobbies include horseback riding, playing video games, listening to music, skateboarding, photography, reading and writing fiction. I am an incoming freshman at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI). My educational aspirations are obtaining a bachelor’s degree in child development or psychology. This would assist in helping me work as a therapist for children, adults and those with special needs. I chose these subjects because my twin brother has high functioning autism. I have been able to help him and I find it rewarding. I can’t wait to meet everyone at Season Explorers, see you there!
Hi Season Explorers! My name is Flynn, and I’m super excited to be a part of Season Explorers Summer Program this Summer! I went to Colfax for 6 years, and have always wanted an opportunity to give back. I’m 18 years old, and a recent graduate of Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City. This fall, I will be attending Kenyon College in Ohio as a committed soccer player for their team. I’ve played since age 4, and I’m really excited to continue my career! In college, I hope to major in Psychology, and use that degree to become a therapist or psychologist for adolescents! I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone this Summer!