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



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.

Site Coordinator



Natasha joined CISPA in August 2016. Natasha grew up in the small town of Boonsboro, Maryland and lived there until she moved to Pennsylvania for college.  She attended York College and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and Sociology and obtained her masters of Social Work from Millersville University. Natasha has worked in many different areas of human services. She started her career as a therapeutic staff support working with children with autism and behavioral issues. Natasha also worked as a parent educator for 5 years.  She has experience working in mental health residential facilities and working as a caseworker in child welfare, where she worked for 3 years with the County of York. Natasha looks forward to working with CISPA to assist students and families in achieving their potential and empowering them to recognize that potential. In her personal life, Natasha enjoys nature and animals. Natasha has three dogs, a cat, and two horses. She enjoys gardening and her dream is to one day have her own homestead.

Community School Director


Sarah joined CISPA in July 2015. A graduate of Millersville University’s Social Work Program, Sarah began working in the Lancaster community during college. Falling for its history, diverse landscapes and, vibrant sense of community, Sarah has called Lancaster home for nearly ten years. In previous positions, she created products to support landlords renting to people experiencing homelessness, assisted in the facilitation of Lancaster’s homeless and coordinated services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Sarah enjoys riding her bike to school everyday and travelling—passions she shares through her volunteer work with The Common Wheel and Atlantic Bridge Youth Exchange Program. Sarah is honored to help carry out her school’s mission through the CISPA model, further developing a school community where children can learn to love learning.

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.

Community Mobilizer


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


Dionna joined CISPA in 2018. She is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and graduated from Millersville University’s Social Work Program in 2013. Upon completing her bachelor’s degree, Dionna worked a two-year appointment as a College Adviser, for the College Advising Corps (CAC) from 2013 – 2015. In 2015 Dionna relocated to Raleigh, NC in order to pursue her M.Ed in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. During her graduate program, Dionna Worked as a graduate assistant for the Office of International Services at NC State. After completing her graduate program in 2017, she worked as an International Student and Scholar Advisor in the Office of International Programs at UNC Charlotte. She recently relocated back to Pa and is excited to be a part of the CISPA team. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, listening to music and playing the guitar.

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.


Community Navigator


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.

Site Coordinator


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.

Student Support Specialist


Destiny is a graduate of William Penn High School and has lived in York her entire life.  Destiny attended the Indiana University of PA where she obtained a bachelors degree in Communications and Media, but always knew she had a love for working with students.  Destiny has worked with Bell Socialization Services in the past as their Communications Coordinator, at York County Prison as a Corrections Officer, and most recently at William Penn High School in their security department.  Additionally, Destiny was a member of the Army National Guard for the past 4.5 years.  Destiny has the knowledge and understanding of how to properly de-escalate problematic situations.  She possesses strong communication skills, and the ability to assess situations and find solutions to problems.  Destiny has also been able to formulate relationships with some of the most difficult students while maintaining appropriate, professional boundaries.

Site Coordinator


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.