Abby Sondak is the Founder and Executive Director of Just Imagine. She started the organization with 18 years of sleepaway camp experience at Kutsher's Sports Academy, and a desire to provide her students with experiences that broaden their perspective. Abby graduated from the University of Maryland in 2009 and went on to receive a master's degree in Elementary Education in the spring of 2015. Currently, Abby is the Dean of Students at E.W. Stokes in Washington, DC, as well as the Varsity Girl's Basketball Coach at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School.
The Just Imagine Advisory Board
The Advisory Board is a group of volunteers who are committed to Just Imagine's mission and provide advice and recommendations to the Executive Director on the expansion and direction of the organization.
Meron K. Benn
Parent of two
Just Imagine Students
"Childhood is the shortest time in our lives. As adults, our expectations for our kids to be great and to prepare for the rest of their lives while learning how the world works can become overwhelming.
Just Imagine has created an opportunity for kids to be kids. At camp they have an opportunity to learn about who they are as individuals, be free to explore new things, and find ways to live and co-exists with people who are different from them while being far away from home. Growing in both their life experiences and personal confidence, Just Imagine is helping to equip kids with the tools necessary for future success."
E.W. Stokes Public Charter School-Brookland Campus
"I volunteer my time with Just Imagine because I wish I had the opportunities that we are providing these children with when I was a kid. Just Imagine provides opportunities for there to be cross cultural experiences, and broadens people’s point of view. Children have the opportunity to become risk takers by getting out of their comfort zones, and I have seen first hand the great benefits that are the result."
E.W. Stokes Public Charter School- East End Campus
"Broader experiences provide greater opportunities for a child’s development. Giving students from Metro DC opportunities to take part in high level athletic training and experiences with sleeping away from home with roommates helps prepare them for a college and university track. Similarly, giving the camp communities access to the brilliance that is young black and brown kids from DC is equally beneficial to their development and perception of people outside of their race and socioeconomic class."
Head of Carrier Operations
"Just Imagine creates an opportunity for kids they might not otherwise have. I’m extremely proud of the work Abby and the team is doing to help level the playing field, and excited to help these kids realize their full potential. Attending camp for 7 years as a child myself, there’s tremendous value being on your own for a period of time and growing independent from the home. I’m excited not only about helping more kids enjoy the experience of summer camp, but also expanding their horizons as they look to college and beyond"
Writer & Youth Development
“I never had the opportunity to attend summer camp growing up. My summers were spent visiting grandma. Raising two active boys in an apartment community can be challenging because there is never enough outdoor time. Participating in the Just Imagine summer away camps has been a blessing to my boys who get the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, meet new people, and enjoy summers in a way they would never be able to in a day camp. I believe in the mission of Just Imagine and the opportunities they provide children to expand their perspective on the world and grow in a new environment.”
Director of Operations
Julian Krinsky Camps and Programs
"I was honored when I was asked to join the Just Imagine Advisory Board, as I have enjoyed watching Just Imagine grow from 2012 up to this point. Both camp and college have played a huge part in developing the person I am today, so it is my pleasure to support Just Imagine's mission in this capacity.
Director of Special Education
E.W. Stokes Public Charter School
"Growing up I was able to attend summer camps because of programs like the Fresh-Air-Fund. I was able to ride horses, play tennis, learn archery, and participate in other activities that African American students from the city generally do not have the opportunity to do. These experiences have helped shape me into the person I am today. I volunteer with Just Imagine because I enjoy being able to provide these same life changing opportunities for children throughout the Washington DC area."
Traci J. Leaphart
The Federal Reserve Board
"Having spent four summers at sleepaway camp, I fully support Just Imagine's 'Camp to College' mentality. Summer camp is often a child's first experience of independence away from their family, and allows them to not only explore themselves but life and people outside of their own neighborhood. The experiences they have at camp will allow them to acclimate faster when they step foot on to a college campus."