Who We Are
About Farris Johnson III, M.Ac., L.Ac., Executive Director & OurSpace Acupuncturist
Farris grew up in Georgia and worked for years as a youth wilderness counselor, teacher, tutor, and community builder. During that time, he saw that young people were not only suffering mentally and economically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. In 2007, Farris moved to Maryland to pursue a degree in acupuncture as a holistic method of helping people overcome these obstacles. A Tai Sophia (now known as the Maryland University of Integrative Health) graduate, he is committed to making acupuncture and wellness education accessible and affordable to everyone.
About Jennifer Samuels, Administrative Assistant
Originally from Jamaica (yeah mon!), Jennifer is currently in the US because she loves volunteering and working for organizations that are looking to make a difference. She brings years of business experience from her background in Architecture, enjoys using her attention to detail to improve and perfect whatever she is a part of. She plans to one day open a holistic wellness center in Jamaica. She is a Reiki Level II Therapist, student of Kabbalah, practices the yoga asana, diet, and meditation of Ananda Marga, and enjoys sentient vegetarian cooking.
About Katie Presley, Administrative Assistant
Katie is a writer, artist, and full-spectrum doula from Austin, Texas. While in Austin she volunteered at the Neighborhood Acupuncture Clinic, co-founded The Bridge Collective, and worked many, many part-time jobs around town. Find her reading, doing DIY house repairs, searching for new recipes to try, and daydreaming about having goats and chickens in her backyard.
About Aitalohi Amaize, Board Chair
Aita grew up in Taiwan and has been somewhat of a nomad since coming to the U.S. for college in 2003. She was introduced to the wonderful world of community service through an on-campus federal work-study job. Coordinating student volunteers to help out at local schools, soup kitchens, and the rebuilding effort following Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, she knew she wanted to pursue a life path of public service. She has since worked in public health initiatives serving the homeless of Boston, the women of color of New York, the children of the Philippines, and most-recently, the rich communities of East Baltimore where she earned her Master in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She has worked as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at both Howard University Hospital and at The George Washington University Hospital in DC. She currently co-manages a new care-coordination program for under-served populations at Unity Health Care. She also helps the survivors of sexual assault and intimate-partner violence as a forensic nurse. She believes deeply in the mission and vision of OurSpace World and has served as a founding board member since its inception in 2011.
About Jill Settle, Board Vice Chair
Jill is originally from Virginia Beach, but she has called the DC area home since 2007. She holds a PhD in Applied Experimental Psychology and presently uses it in her work at the US Department of Health and Human Services. She began seeing Farris for acupuncture soon after he opened the doors of OurSpace in 2011 and was instantly hooked. Acupuncture keeps her grounded and leaves her feeling calm and refreshed. Becoming a member of the OurSpace Board in 2011 made it easy to get more involved in something Jill already enjoyed. She participated in service projects in high school, joined Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity in college, and has been committed to community service ever since. Building the community of OurSpace has been instrumental in both maintaining that focus and in achieving a sense of balance and wellbeing in her own life.
About Iselin Gambert, Board Secretary
Iselin received her first acupuncture treatment in 2007 in an effort to help her cope with the news that her mother had recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Since that time, she has become a believer in the power of acupuncture to transform lives, and in the power of clinics like OurSpace to transform communities. Iselin grew up in New York and spent her summers in the Norwegian wilderness, where her family has a cabin. After being involved in a variety of community organizing projects while a student at Pomona College, Iselin founded a Community Supported Agriculture program in Central Harlem. She was also the Program Director at WomensLaw.org, a nonprofit that provides legal information to domestic violence survivors, and joined the WomensLaw board after moving to DC to pursue a law degree in 2004. She is currently an Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing at the George Washington University Law School. When not receiving acupuncture treatments, Iselin can be found baking vegan treats, biking around DC, and hanging out with her cats. Iselin is honored to be part of the OurSpace team.