Alex joined CISPA in September of 2015. Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in History from York College of Pennsylvania. Alex enjoys working at CISPA because he has always had a passion for working with kids and young adults. Watching students struggle and wanting to better themselves always provides him with the motivation to help them reach their goals. In order to achieve success, students are going to want to come to school, feel safe and have the tools they need to overcome challenges; this is what Alex achieves every day and he takes pride in providing these tools. Seeing students at the beginning of the year transition to the end of the school year with confidence provides Alex with the motivation to always do his job better than before. Alex is from the snack capital of the world, Hanover, PA. Besides reading history books in his free time, Alex enjoys listening to music and being outdoors whenever he can.
Leyna joined the Communities In Schools team in August of 2014. Prior to coming to CISPA, Leyna earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Penn State University. She was born in the Dominican Republic but came to the US when she was 2 weeks old. Leyna then lived in New York City and moved to York when she was about 12 years old. She enjoys working at CISPA because every day is completely different. As much as she tries to plan for the day, she can guarantee that there will be unexpected challenges for her to deal with each week. When Leyna works through these challenges with a student, and they overcome that hurdle together, it is one of the greatest rewards she feels she can receive. Leyna’s hobbies include spending time with her 3 children, reading and craft projects.
Community School Director
Annette has over 10 years of experience in program management and development in the non-profit social service field. Annette was one of the first to pave the way for Community Schools in Lancaster when Community Schools first started. Since then, Annette has built an extensive work history in community outreach to engage clients in program awareness and access to services, leadership support to program staff, and management of program implementation to ensure successful achievement of organizational goals. Annette has a Bachelors degree in Social Work from Millersville University and a Masters degree in Professional Studies and Organizational Leadership from Central Penn College in Lancaster.
Student Support Specialist
Danielle joined CISPA in October 2016. Danielle comes to CISPA with a wealth of knowledge as she had been working in the field for the last 8 years. She received her Masters in Social Work from Temple University and is also a Licensed Social Worker. Since joining the CISPA team, Danielle has provided much-needed programming and case management services to a small group of students 4 days a week.
Kiersten joined CISPA in May 2018. After graduating from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Political Science and Sociology, Kiersten returned to her hometown of York where she has spent all of her professional careers. Most of her work has been in the City of York working with children, families, and communities in mental health, education and child welfare. Through these experiences, Kiersten has developed a passion for advocacy and empowerment and is a firm believer that building relationships are the cornerstone of success. She is honored to serve in the role of Community Mobilizer for the Communities of Hope as it is built on these principles. Outside of work, Kiersten loves spending time with her family, traveling, and reading.
Community School Director
Community School Director
Amy joined the Communities In Schools team in July 2018. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in English Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Amy has spent her entire career in education. Prior to joining CIS, she was a Campus Director of a small business college in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and the Manager of Student Services at an automotive school in Blairsville, Pennsylvania. She is excited to be working with younger students to help them break down barriers so they can achieve their dreams and empower them to make good decisions. In her free time, Amy enjoys reading, knitting, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Community School Director
Araceli joined Communities In Schools team in July of 2017. She received a BS degree in Administrative Computer Systems from UVM in Mexico City and was apart of the initial team to bring community schools to Lancaster PA. Araceli had been working with students and families for 11 years, providing them with the necessary tools and resources to overcome their challenges. Araceli believes that by building strong relationships with the community, understanding our differences, and celebrating our similitudes, we can empower our students to become responsible citizens of our society.
Nicole joined CISPA in November 2018. In 2008, she graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in child and family studies, minoring in educational psychology. From 2008-2017, Nicole worked as a Therapeutic Staff Support in the city of Johnstown, PA. Nicole completed her School Counseling Practicum and Internship with the Greater Johnstown School District at Johnstown Elementary School. Following that, Nicole received her Master of Science degree in school counseling, along with a Pennsylvania and Florida Educational Specialist Certificate in School Counseling. Upon graduation, Nicole worked as a school counselor in Tampa, Fl. Nicole is looking forward to continuing her work with students and families in the Greater Johnstown School District.
Angelica graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. Post-graduation, she worked as a Family Resource Specialist for Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry Counties. In this role, Angelica assisted families involved with Children & Youth Services as well as Juvenile Probation Services to obtain resources from their community to establish a strong foundation in their family life. Angelica advocated for families who were not able to advocate for themselves. In her spare time, Angelica enjoys working with people and lending a helping hand. Angelica’s favorite part of her job is the opportunities she has to make even the smallest difference in someone’s life and the impactful relationships that come with it.
Renee was born and raised in York, PA and has previously lived in Atlanta, GA. Renee is a graduate of William Penn Senior High School and then received her BS in Behavioral Science from York College of Pennsylvania and her MS in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. Renee has three children, a 20-year-old son, 12-year-old son, and 7-year-old daughter. Previous work includes the Behavioral Specialist Consultant/Mobile Therapist, Pre-K Teacher, Personal Care Aide, and In-Home Family Advocate. Renee is also a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. Sorority.
Community School Director
Emily joined the Communities in Schools of Central Pennsylvania organization in January 2019. She has worked in educational contexts throughout her career, beginning as early childhood and elementary teacher in Philadelphia, and most recently, serving as an instructor and lecturer in the School of Education and a project manager and research associate in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado. Emily is thrilled to have the opportunity to return to her hometown and work with students, teachers, and family to strengthen the school community. Emily received a B.A. in English Literature and Educational Studies from Bryn Mawr College in 2005, an M.S.Ed and teacher certification from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, and a dual Ph.D. in Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice (EFPP) and Teaching, Learning, Research, and Practice (TLRP) from the University of Colorado in 2018. Emily’s dissertation, teaching, and research focus on the role of emotion in equity-oriented teaching and learning, and particularly, the use of play in organizing for responsive educational communities.
I have worked at CISPA since November of 2018. Previous to that, the majority of my work has been in the Addiction and Substance Abuse field- primarily in and around Cambria County/Johnstown. Most recently, I was a Case Management Specialist for the Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program, working with the assessments, funding, and case management for individuals struggling with substance abuse. In addition, I worked with at-risk youth in various capacities. Some of these include an inpatient juvenile treatment center and addiction prevention at local schools in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Also, I have gained valuable experience working as an Assistant Varsity Football Coach for one of the local high schools in the area. I enjoy working with CIS and children in general, because of the potential impact I (and we) can make on their lives. Giving them a vision and hope of a better outcome in the future, compared to their current situations.
Joseph Studivant is a native of Baltimore, MD and a current resident of Hallam, PA where he lives with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Ava. He is the proud father of two adult daughters, Imani and Myra. He is also a proud “Pop Pop” to his grandson, Malachi. Joseph has dedicated his career to serving children, youth and families. Prior to joining CISPA, Joseph was Director of the York County Youth Advocate Program. His professional background has included leadership positions with Methodist Board of Child Care, Logos Academy, Lutheran Social Services of South Central PA (now Spiritrust Lutheran), YMCA of Central MD and YWCA of Greater Baltimore. Joseph holds a Family Development Credential certificate from Temple University (Harrisburg, PA) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Guilford College (Greensboro, NC). Joseph is a devoted member of Bible Tabernacle Christian Center (York, PA) where he serves as Children’s Church Minister. His favorite time of year is summer because of Vacation Bible School. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys cooking, kite flying and reading. His favorite book is Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.