Kehli Berry – Founder of The Divas of Compton & 1 Shine Youth Services

The Heat Magazine: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kehli Berry: My name is Kehli Berry and I am a native of Compton, California. I grew up in Compton and was sheltered from the gang violence, crime, and drugs. My parents had careers and were both models and very involved in Sports & Dance. From a young age all I can remember was being in Fashion Shows with my sister ad brother and watching my father walk like King down the runways and watching my mother Slay the runway in some of the most adoring outfits and bathing suits.

I grew up dancing with Mid Cities Drill Team out of Lueders Park and playing Tee-Ball out of Victory Park in Compton, CA. My most fondest memories as a child is waking up on Saturday Mornings to Anita Baker or Sadeblasting throughout the house. Hearing Anita Baker and Sade gave me such a sense of peace andstability. TiIl this day it reminds me of the fresh smell of cut grass by my father and the smell of coffee lingering through the hallways of our home.

The Heat Magazine: Growing up, who were your artistic influences?

Kehli Berry: While growing up in the 80’s and 90’s I grew a love for Salt N’ Peppa and TLC. I walkways wanted to be a Fly Girl on “In Living Color” or be a background Dancer for MC Hammer. Seeing women in Hip Hop who were strong, yet Sexy and demanded Respect was who I chose to model myself after. Till This Day, I am such a product of the era of Female Rappers who Demanded Respect but was still Sexy and FLY…

The Heat Magazine: What is your most cherished accomplishment to date?

Kehli Berry: While an undergraduate in College in Atlanta, Georgia I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Ghana, West Africa to perform for Ghana’s 50th Anniversary of Independence. It was there that I realized my calling and purpose.I then came back to Atlanta and founded the Youth Enrichment Program, an after school and summer program for at risk youth and teens. At the age of 21 years old I had written my first grant and was able to be a leader in the community and incorporate youth programming that focused equally on leadership, performing arts, and academics.

While an undergraduate student I also created the DIVAS Dance program for youth and teen girls. This program was modeled after my experiences staying in the dorms while I was a student at Clark Atlanta University. The name of my Dorm was Bumstead Hall and our Dorm Mascot was the DIVAS.

While a student at Clark Atlanta University I stepped on my dormitory’s step team and learned the true meaning of sisterhood.. This influenced my desire to bring the DIVAS to Compton and create a program for inner city youth and teen girls.

The Heat Magazine: What projects are you currently working on?

Kehli Berry: Currently, my husband and I have opened up a Youth Center in Compton, CA and we are looking to branch out and eventually return to Atlanta, GA to do the same.In the future we hope to develop schools abroad and partner with community organizations to increase more Youth programs that focus on performing arts and leadership.Our goal is to be a counterculture to all of the negative displays of females in Hip Hop and/or Dance and to be a representation of positivity for youth and communities to model themselves after.We are excited about positively impacting the lives of our communities, one child at a time.

The Heat Magazine: If you could work with any actor/actress, who would that be?

Kehli Berry: If I had one actress to work with, I would work with Angela Bassett or Jada Pinkett-Smith. These female Actresses embody strength, grace, poise, and strength.

The Heat Magazine: What other avenues of entertainment are you working within or hoping to branch off into?

Kehli Berry: I am an Actor, Dancer, Model, and an Educator, but my love for youth development has made me passionate about ensuring that the next generation of youth and teens are equipped with the essential tools needed to thrive and improve the quality of their life.

The Heat Magazine: Tell us about The Rep Yo City Dance Competition that’s coming up?

Kehli Berry: Currently we are promoting our 4th annual “Rep Yo City Dance Competition.” This is a dance competition we host yearly in which teams from all over the USA come out to represent for their hometown. This event promotes unity in the dance community and gives dancers a chance to network and develop friendships with youth from all across the nation. Dance is a bridge that we use to connect and bring together individuals from all walks of life, and at the Rep Yo City Competition, each team brings with them their own creativity and uniqueness from their region and hometown. The presence of all of these teams creates a memorable and fun filled family experience for all. We are excited that the Rep Yo City Dance Competition is highly sought after event for the youth in Compton and serves as an event whee the youth and their creativity is celebrated.

The Heat Magazine: What is your social Media/contact/website info?

Kehli Berry:
Social Media:Facebook: Professor Kehlz Berry
Facebook: Divas of Compton
Facebook: 1 Shine Youth Services
Instagram: @divasofcompton
Instagram: @professorkehlz

About the author

The Heat Reporter

I have been in the entertainment industry for many years, having worked closely with many well known artists. I am certainly no stranger to the entertainment industry and I strive to bring some of that insider knowledge to my readers. I have worked with Interscope and was heavily involved with developing Sucka Free Records. As I always says, Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream. Make yours happen.


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