Senior Site Coordinator
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.
Site Coordinator and ISS Training Specialist
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 Coordinator
Christina received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Kutztown University. She spent the first 3 years upon graduation, working for the Pennsylvania Department of State in the division of Campaign Finance. She worked with the youth throughout her undergraduate breaks at the Lebanon Ymca and most recently at her parish as a Religious Education teacher. As a born and raised Lebanon native, Christina is excited to bring Communities in Schools to her hometown. Christina has a passion for yoga, communications, and her family. She is a proud first-generation Mexican-American and loves to travel internationally when she can.
Community School Coordinator
Guillermo Barroso has an extensive and diverse background in education. He has worked and experienced in providing intensive and alternative counseling and positive behavior intervention to assist students to adapt and be successful in a regular classroom setting. He has over 13 years of experience working with at-risk students primarily in urban schools. During his tenure as the Educational Leader of the school, he worked with a student body of 250 students. His responsibilities included to provide support and evaluate delivery of the vision and mission of the school Previously, as the Dean of Student, he developed academic plans for students in order to aid their progress and collaborated with counselors and teachers to assess the needs of the students. As the School Counselor, he provided counseling, guidance, and therapeutic support services to students. He conducted an assessment to determine risk factors and eligibility of services within the community for the students who are identified to be at risk and provided on-going counseling services to students who are at-risk. Also, he worked as an Intake Caseworker for Dauphin County Children and Youth Services for 20 years. He holds a Bachelor Degree from Duquesne University in Organizational Psychology/Organizational Leadership, a Master Degree from Duquesne University in Ethics and Leadership a Master Degree from Edinboro University in Education Leadership. Guillermo Barroso resides in Palmyra, PA with his wife and likes to play golf and exercise.
Site Coordinator and Data/Reporting Specialist
Natasha joined CIS in August of 2016. She has a long history of working in social services in York City. Natasha graduated from York College in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology. She has worked as a TSS, parent educator for in-home services, a caseworker for York County CYF, and worked in a mental health residential facility. She obtained her Masters of Social Work degree from Millersville University in 2015. Natasha enjoys working with students and families to empower them and give them a voice. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her 2 dogs and gardening. She has a passion for health and wellness through holistic means. Her dream is to one day live on a homestead and be off the grid.
Community School Director
Christina Ortega was born and raised in Lancaster City. She graduated from McCaskey High School in 1998. She then attended Millersville University with a scholarship through the Lancaster Partnership Program. Christina graduated from Millersville University and obtained a BA in Psychology. While attending college she counseled delinquent youth at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center and then pursued a career as a Juvenile Probation Officer in York County for almost 10 years. Christina then returned to Lancaster and worked as an Admissions Counselor for Job Corps. With a strong relationship with the community, Christina then became a part of the Lancaster County Community Foundation team to assist with their “At the Table” initiative. Through that initiative, she was able to assist the Community Action Partnership in launching the Navigation Program as a Navigator. Christina also spent some of her time teaching a self-development course for New Choices/New Beginnings at the Lancaster County Prison. Christina then transitioned back into the community as a Clubhouse Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster for the last two years. Christina has a 12-year-old daughter, and during her free time enjoys dancing salsa, cooking, and spending time with her family. Christina purchased her first home in 2007 through LHOP in the SOWE area of the city and for this reason, she currently serves as a Board Member on the SoWe Board.
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.
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.