Beckie Basehore has been the Accounting Coordinator at CISPA since February 2016. She is originally from Fairfield, CT, but has lived in Central PA since 1998, and currently resides in Susquehanna Township with her husband, two orange tabbies, and a harrier. Becky states that even though she doesn’t directly interact with the students, she hopes her contribution to CISPA helps those who are out in the field doing the work. Interestingly, Beckie was a high school dropout herself and needed to be convinced to return to school and graduate; which she did a year later. Beckie feels it is important to the future of the students, and this country. Beckie is a gaming geek and enjoys playing all varieties of games, including online RPGs and wildly addictive games like Angry Birds or Candy Crush.
External Relations Manager
Meg Connolly is the External Relations Manager at Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania. Meg graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Humanities in Communications from Penn State. With a strong passion for helping others, an enthusiastic work ethic, and a keen awareness of the importance of relationships, Meg was an active leader in her college community. She held multiple leadership positions such as the President and Co-founder of the Penn State Harrisburg Public Relations Club, the Public Relations Executive Member for the National Society of Leadership and Success, an on-campus lifeguard, and a swim instructor for local youth. Meg has won two awards in her college career including the Invisible Leader Award and the Dekle Family Award for Excellence in the Humanities. In her free time, Meg enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with family and friends.
Social Media & Communications Associate
Justine started at CISPA in June of 2017 as a Social Media & Communications Intern. She is a junior at Penn State University where she is majoring in marketing. Justine is passionate about branding and promoting the excellence of businesses, and looks forward to increasing awareness of CISPA’s important mission over the next few months. Justine’s interest in youth stems from her family— she has two nieces and a nephew whom she loves spending time with. She believes that every child deserves an excellent future, and providing them with the tools to stay in school is the first step to ensuring that. Previously, Justine worked as a public relations intern at La Torre Communications. In her free time, Justine co-manages a small florist business in Harrisburg, WildFlower Boutique Bouquets, and plays the cello. She enjoys being around her family and friends as often as possible.
Chris joined the CISPA team in August 2018 as the Social Media and Communications intern. He graduated in 2016 with his Bachelor’s in Communications at Penn State and is currently pursuing his Master’s in the same field and at the same campus. He has always had a passion for using his skills as a graphic designer, photographer, and strategist to make the world a better place. Over the past few years, he has worked in political communications and doing public relations and graphic design work for the indepdent publishing house The Paragon Press. Chris is pleased to be joining Communities in Schools Pennsylvania to help further the organization’s goals and be a part of improving outcomes for Pennsylvania students. He also works part-time for a major technology retailer. As a father of three zany kids, he has a very personal stake in the success of CISPA and the quality of Pennsylvania schools. In his free time, he enjoys going with his fianceé to see every movie Marvel Studios pushes out, exploring remote places via drone photography and videography, and rewatching excellent television like Parks and Recreation and How I Met Your Mother.
Senior Director of Programs and Embedded Affiliates
Shelly Grim, LSW
Shelly Grim, LSW is Director of Programs and Field Operations for Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania since March of 2016. Shelly is from Allentown, PA and attended Cedar Crest College; earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She began her career with KidsPeace National Centers and worked throughout many of their programs including the Psychiatric Hospital and Residential Admissions. Shelly went back to school through Marywood University and acquired a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Administration and later her Social Work License. Shelly took the opportunity to join Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley in September of 2005. Shelly states that one of the reasons she loves working for Communities In Schools is due to the 1:1 relationships staff are able to form with students. It’s that 1:1 relationship that is the cornerstone to a student succeeding. Shelly’s hobbies include her interest in classic cars and taking part in classic car shows.
Jenna joined CISPA during the summer of 2017 where she serves as the Vice President. Previously, Jenna was a former Dauphin County Deputy District Attorney. She is the proud mom of a beautiful 3-year-old girl and in her free time enjoys interior decorating.
President & State Director
Ryan serves as the President and State Director of Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania and works in partnership with state and local elected officials, as well as community and business leaders to support and sustain services aimed at improving education across Pennsylvania. Prior to his current role, he was the Vice President for Development and Marketing at Easter Seals Serving Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia as well as the Associate Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.
Ryan has presented in a variety of forums on higher education, student leadership, fundraising, and government advocacy including The Pennsylvania Congressional Economic Summit, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, the Annual Philadelphia Higher Education Network of Neighborhood Development (PHENND) Conference, Pennsylvania Campus Compact, The Pennsylvania Association of Hospital Auxiliaries. He is a past-President and Board Member of the Harrisburg Young Professionals (HYP), Trustee/Founder of The Hill Society. Ryan received his bachelor’s degree from Widener University and completed a cohort policy fellowship with the Education Policy Fellowship Center in Harrisburg, PA.