News & Views

86th Annual Meeting

March 22, 2017

This past Sunday, our community center gym was alive with chatter and excitement in anticipation of the Crispus Attucks 86th Annual Meeting. Over 100 people from around the area filled the room to hear what we’ve been up to this past year.

Center for Employment & Training Director Rev. Mike Jefferson emcee’d the afternoon and introduced Board of Directors Vice President Darrien Davenport to give the official welcome. Embracing the theme of “Celebrating Our Past, Connecting to our Future,” Jeffrey Kirkland, Crispus Attucks Association friend and history buff, laid out 85 years of our organization’s rich history and deep roots in York.

With an introduction centered around the theme of “bridging the gap” by Judge John Uhler, three local police department heads were each recognized with the Heart of Change Community Service Award for their roles in helping bridge the gap between police and minority communities in York. Springettsbury Township Police Chief Daniel Stump expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the award and his commitment to working with organizations like Crispus Attucks:

“If you have pure motives and a good heart, people will surround you because we all have the hope of having a better community,” Stump said.

Next, Crispus Attucks staff celebrating milestone years of service, ranging from five to 25 years, were recognized for their achievements. Much to her surprise, Deb Kopecki, CA’s HR Director the past 43 years, was also recognized for her many contributions and friendship, an emotional moment for all. Finally, to show our appreciation for some of our dedicated volunteers, we recognized ten more people and groups, including the Country Club of York and Women Living United, for all of their hard work.

We’re certainly grateful for and rely on the support of our community. To another year!

Photos by Chip Dalton. To see more photos, check out our Facebook.

Recognizing Heart-of-Change Partnerships

March 15, 2017

kkkkkkkkkkkkkk86th Annual Meeting
Although policing is primarily a local affair, police-community relationships are not. With the easy share-ability of images and videos via the internet, events across our nation highlighting fatal police shootings and accusations of police misconduct and racial profiling, ripple far beyond the communities in which they occur.

The sad truth is that both sides have experienced brutality and, consequently, have reasons to feel angry and mistrustful. As expected, these feelings can further strain police-community relationships and undermine the cooperation needed to establish flourishing towns and cities.

Yet, in the face of these circumstances, there is still hope. Relationships can be repaired. Time and effort can foster goodwill and build trust.   

The efforts of York County police are a testament to this hope-filled future. They are seeking feedback on their roles in the community, volunteering in mentoring programs and investing in youth, all with the goal of bringing themselves closer to the people they serve.

This Sunday, March 19th, Crispus Attucks will honor the actions of Springettsbury Township Police Chief Daniel Stump, York County Sheriff Richard Keuerleber, and York City Police Chief Wes Kahley with Heart of Change Community Service Awards at its 86th Annual Meeting.

We hope you will join us! With the theme of “Celebrating Our Past—Connecting to Our Future,” this event provides an opportunity for Crispus Attucks and the York community to reflect on the past 85 years and come together in recognition of hardworking volunteers and staff, and bright partnerships for a promising future.

To learn more about how York County police are bridging the gap between themselves and the community, click here.

Passages on the Underground Railroad: Quaker Connections

February 27, 2017

Underground Railroad Quaker Connections

Friday, March 3, 2017

* at two locations and times *

5:30 PM: Talk on “York Quakers and the Underground Railroad” at the Goodridge Freedom Center given by Quaker historian Lamar Matthew

6:30 PM: Open House and Light Refreshments at the York Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse

Both locations open until 8:00 PM for tours and conversation

Goodridge Freedom CenterkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkYork Friends Meetinghouse

   Goodridge Freedom Center: ​                                             York Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse:

123 E. Philadelphia Street; York, PA 17401                     135 W. Philadelphia Street; York, PA 17401


For more information contact:

Carol Kauffman for the Goodridge Freedom Center:

Chad Smyser for the York Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse:

Celebrating the Timelessness of Valentine’s Day

February 24, 2017

ALC seniors celebrate Valentine's Day

Some could argue that Valentine’s Day, like other annual holidays, gets old, but at an organization that provides services to those ranging anywhere in age from three months to 60 and above, holidays tend to be celebrated in different—and sometimes surprising—ways.

At the Early Learning Center, Pre-K Counts had a special storybook reader, Paula Gilbert, share her favorite Valentine’s Day picture books. Mrs. Gilbert, who is Director of Youth Services at Martin Library, is a pro at engaging children in learning. She came prepared with a curiosity-peaking bag of new books and a host of funny and entertaining voices to bring the characters to life.ELC welcomes Mrs. Gilbert for Valentine's Day

In between reading favorites like Little Mouse’s Big Valentine and One Zillion Valentines in her amusing voices, Mrs. Gilbert led the students in chants complete with hand motions to snip, fold, paste and deliver imaginary valentines.

Once the final story was over, the students showed off their real valentine-making skills by presenting Mrs. Gilbert with a giant card they had created as a class.

Of course, Pre-K Counts students weren’t the only ones celebrating. Down the street at the Active Living Center, our seniors had their own unique Valentine’s Day party.

In comparison to the Pre-K Counts classroom, the Active Living Center seems overwhelming.

The center, brimming with seniors catching up and enjoying the party treats, shakes with popular music.  A couple seniors, taking full advantage of the popular hip-hop and R&B songs blasting from the speakers, swing dance to Wobble Baby and the Cupid Shuffle.

Although some seniors had loved ones far away, they were far from alone to celebrate the heart-filled holiday. Instead, seniors enjoyed a cross-generational Valentine’s Day, appreciating their pasts along with the present community they’ve invested in at the ALC.

At the Early Learning Center, students might have enjoyed a cross-generational Valentine’s Day too, if had they listened closely enough for the thumping music and conversation floating out of the ALC.

Discover York’s Unique History

February 01, 2017

Goodridge February Freedom Tours

Bringing history to life, historian and reenactor, Kelly Summerfold will embody the home’s previous owner, Mr. William C. Goodridge, to tell the story of how he rose from his birth as a slave to being one of the most accomplished businessmen of early 19th Century York — and risked it all to lead others to freedom as a stationmaster on the Underground Railroad.

On Friday, February 3, the Goodridge Freedom Center, located at 123 E. Philadelphia Street in York, will be open to the general public from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Special tours with Kelly Summerfold are scheduled at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.

Space is limited. A modest fee of $5.00 is requested to reserve your place on the tour. Register online here, or make your donation at the door.

Honoring MLK’s Legacy

January 21, 2017

On Monday, January 16, more than 350 community members and government officials gathered at Crispus Attucks for a day of Remembrance, Appreciation, Service and Community to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.  In his Drum Major Instinct speech, Dr. King said, “It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter how busy you are. All that matters is what you do for others. Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

The breakfast program included inspirational messages in the form of music, dance and spoken word from Mini Greene, Calvin Fountain III and Koby Evans, Joslin Kearse, Fairview Full Gospel Baptist Church Praise Team, Friendship Baptist Church’s Mime Ministry – Chozen, and CA’s South Side Steppers Drill Team.

Following the breakfast, community members canvassed locations throughout York City to complete volunteer service projects, such as: 

  • Restore York (Carlisle Rd) – 4 volunteers organized furniture donations.
  • Covenant House – 10 volunteers helped to convert space into a clothing boutique for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Crispus Attucks – 10 volunteers organized storage space to support youth programs.
  • Clean Sweep – 30 volunteers worked to beautify Crispus Attucks’ neighborhood with litter pick-up.
  • Lunch Packing for the Needy – 4 volunteers helped Everyday Hope Ministries prepare lunches for community members.
  • United Way of York County – 40 volunteers engaged older adults across the community with conversation, games, and other activities.

Check out photos from this special event: MLK Day of Service 2017

Hygiene/Food Drive

The SpiriTrust Lutheran Senior Companion Program along with RSVP program of the Capital Region will be collecting hygiene and non-perishable food items for the York County Food Bank. Any donation is appreciated. Crispus Attucks will be collecting from January 9th – February 9th .


Empowering the Next Generation of Health Professionals

December 09, 2016

Congratulations to all the new Certified Nursing Assistants, we are so proud of the hard work they put in to make a bright future for themselves. Thank you to Nurse Kara Hogue, from Harrisburg Area Community College, for helping our participants achieve this great success!

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, visit Shana Scott for more information at Crispus Attucks Center for Employment & Training, 605 S Duke St, York.
Congrats to our new Certified Nursing Assistants
CNA Graduation Ceremony
Crispus Attucks CNA Graduates
Happy to start the next chapter of life
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!
Congrats to our CNA grads!

The Missing Ingredient

December 01, 2016

Active Living Center seniors enjoying each other's company for lunch

We all know what little boys and girls are made of, but what happens when they grow up? The seniors at the Crispus Attucks Active Living Center are so much more than sugar and spice or snips and snails in the age-old nursery rhyme. They are seasoned by life’s joys and hardships, and they want nothing more than to soak in this seasoning with each other, swapping stories about their pasts and sharing the present.

Shirley is an energetic, talkative lady who incessantly fidgets in her wheelchair. She has a mess of curly hair and can switch from Spanish to English without batting an eye.  Shirley has been coming to the ALC for a mere two weeks, but already feels like an integral part of the community.

She sits at a table with three other ladies. They listen, laugh and sass one another, and apologize when they get carried away speaking with their hands and accidentally bump each other’s canes to the floor.

Shirley reminisces about visiting Puerto Rico and speaking Spanish with her closest friends.

“I even find myself dreaming in Spanish,” she said, “Sometimes I wake up speaking it.” At the Active Living Center, Shirley gets the opportunity to connect with other Puerto Rican women and speak the language she misses so much. She also gets the chance to form new friendships.

Active Living Center bustling with seniors

The other women at Shirley’s table consist of Pat, Anne, and Joann. Pat, deemed the crazy domino player, has a hearty laugh and a wide, mischievous smile. She, too, loves the community at the ALC.

Anne is the quiet one of the group. She is shy about her life but quick to ask questions to hear the others’ stories whether for the first or twentieth time. Anne also comes to the ALC for the community, and for the games of dominoes.

Joann, the final member of the quartet, is a spunky woman with a spice drawer full of stories. She has had 11 brain surgeries, been married four times, and has spent parts of her life in France, Austria, Denmark, and Germany. While in America, she attended York County’s first Licensed Practical Nurse course before working as a nurse at Pleasant Acres.

Joann believes that each person is responsible for pursuing the things that add joy and purpose to their life; a person can’t depend on others to fill his or her life with happiness or meaning.

“When you die,” she said, “no one is going to jump in that bed and die with you.”

Mr. Jackson, the oldest Active Living Center senior at 94, had his own gripping stories to rival those of Joann. A World War II veteran, Mr. Jackson served from 1943 to 1945 in the Philippines and in Okinawa. He reminisces about fighting the Japanese and waiting six months at the end of the war for transportation to get home.

“You must be strong in the Lord to survive,” Mr. Jackson said. He recalls kissing the ground when he finally returned to the U.S.

Despite the hardships, Mr. Jackson doesn’t regret serving his country. “That’s why I did it,” he said, gesturing to the seniors around him listening, “for you guys. For this.”

These five seniors represent only a few of the many adults who pass through the doors of the Active Living Center searching for the missing ingredient, community. Their unique seasoning enables them to swap stories and share in life’s sweet, salty, and spicy moments.

Honoring Hearts of Change in the Community

December 01, 2016

Every year we celebrate diversity and service at the Cultural Thanksgiving celebration. This year we honored several community members and one youth for their outstanding impact as a Heart of Change in our community.  Check out this year’s winners below.

Michael Breeland

Michael Breeland Receiving Rising STARS Award

Michael was born in York, PA and holds degrees from William Penn Senior High School, York College of Pennsylvania, and Lincoln University of Pennsylvania.  Michael went on to obtain the following certification: Pennsylvania Student Assistance Certification, Master Addictions Certification and Certification in Reality Therapy.  Michael currently is a Therapist, delivering family therapy services at the Pressley Ridge.

Michael was elected to the School Board of the School District of the City of York and fought to bring about educational equity for the children with the newly formed African American Round Table, serving from 1999-2007.

Michael continues to assist those he serves in a manner that is respectful and appreciative of the diverse backgrounds that they bring with them.


Brandon Carter

Brandon Carter Receiving Rising STARS Award

Mr. Brandon T. Carter is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, Morgan State University graduate, and Temple University Master’s graduate. He serves as the Executive Principal of William Penn Senior High School. Serving as a positive male role model for his students, Mr. Carter has a strong commitment to promoting character, academic excellence, and equipping young people with the skills necessary to be successful in every aspect of their lives.

He has worked with students with oppositional behaviors, cognitive disabilities at the elementary level. He has been an elementary classroom teacher, core curriculum specialist, and an assistant principal.

Mr. Carter looks forward to continuous improvements in himself and others to increase student achievement and raise the bar of excellence in education through being resourceful, student-focused and solutions-oriented promoting a positive environment.

As one who goes above and beyond the call of duty in whatever he does, Mr. Carter lives his life through the quote, “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world!”


Willie Green

Willie Green Receiving Rising STARS Award

On July 1, 2013, Mr. Green started his Career at Crispus Attucks with the Center for Employment and Training.

On September 25, 2014 Mr. Green was excited to transition to be a Case Manager for Crispus Attucks Charter School ,a position he currently holds.

He was born and raised in Gettysburg, PA and currently reside in York, PA with his lovely wife Jennifer Green and beautiful daughter Ava Green.

His plans to continue helping Crispus Attucks thrive as an organization that improves lives in York County. He is being honored for his many years of consistent work with children of our community.



Ailiyah Harley

Ailiyah Harley Receiving Rising STARS Award

Ailiyah was born on November 25, 2003 in Baltimore , Maryland. She has been attending Jackson Elementary K-8 since 4th grade.  Ailiyah’s favorite things to do are; dance, cheer, tumble and drilling.

She has been at Crispus Attucks since 2014 and her goals are to be in the OGBYN field and plans to travel the world to help people.  She volunteers her services everyday (except) Fridays) as a coach for the 4 and 5 year old cheer squads. Ailiyah enjoys helping her mom-mom (Mrs. Frog) out with various duties for the CA.  Ailiyah deeply respects those that came before her and shows a eagerness to assist those younger than her.



Jonas Lau

Jonas Lau Receiving Rising STARS Award

Jonas Lau graduated from Dallastown High School and attended Pennsylvania State University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree and was hired by The School District of the City of York. He attended Millersville University and received his Master’s in Literacy.

He has been married nearly ten years and has three amazing children, Hailee, Makayla, and Thomas. Jackie, his wife, is a strong woman who has supported and created many of his crazy ideas over the years.

Jonas is currently in his 12th year of teaching. He has spent most of his career teaching fifth grade. His favorite part about teaching is working with the students. Jonas has had the honor and privilege of working with some of the brightest and kindest children. He is excited to see a world where they are future leaders and thinkers. Jonas also runs an after school program. Over the years the after-school group has studied Shakespearean plays, read novels, and learned how to play chess.


Marissa Shockley

Marisa Shockley Receiving Rising STARS Award

Marisa has been styling hair since 1993, and has owned and operated her own salon, Beneath The Surface Salon, for the last 16 years. While being a loving wife and mother of three, she finds the time to serve as the President and founding member of the YaYa Girls (You Are Yet Amazing). YaYa Girls is a grassroots after-school program for girls ages 5-16 that promotes self-esteem and empowerment.  Marisa is also the Title I parent Liaison at William Penn Sr. High school.  Marisa strives every day to help her clients and community, young and old, to find their beauty “Beneath The Surface.”





Camille Sipe

Camille Sipe Receiving Rising STARS Award

Camille joined the Crispus Attucks family as an intern during her senior year in high school. She is proud of the five sons, one daughter, and two nephews she has raised. Camille has a big heart and is motivated by the sight of children’s smiling faces. The joy she receives from impacting the lives of young ones is all she needs to continue to positively affect the community. Camille is an important part of the engine of the CA Rising STARS, allowing programs to operate smoothly and consistently.





Shanika Stephens

Shanika Stephens Receiving Rising STARS Award

Shanika Stephens is 32 years old, born in York, PA and is a graduate of Lincoln University with a degree in Human Services.  Shanika is currently impacting the youth at McKinley Elementary K-8 and has held various positions throughout the years working with children. She has a keen interest in volunteering and working for the betterment of young people since her first job at age 15.  She is a strong, passionate, God fearing woman ,who values family, integrity, and respect.  She feels like it is her duty to be an advocate for young woman because of the many mentors who have helped her.  Shanika enjoys volunteering with Crispus Attucks because she says it is important to give back to your community and to build valuable relationships with children and families.



Women Living United


Women Living United is an affinity group for the United Way of York County.  It started in November 2013 and was founded by Reesy Neff.  The original steering committee consisted of 7 amazing ladies that came to together to start this group!  Their mission is “To Unite Women and demonstrate their power to effect positive change as philanthropists, role models, mentors and leaders”.

Every year they hold three breakfast events called “Interviews with Inspiring Women” where they interview local women that are having an impact on our community.  They also have an annual event to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and invite potential new members to join in the movement. Women Living United also do various volunteer projects throughout the year. The group is grateful to their sponsorships who make it possible for the women to attend the events free of charge.

Women Living United currently have over 240 members and have raised over $300,000 this year for the United Way of York County.

Investing in the Future of York

December 01, 2016

You Make a Difference Collage of youth and adults impacted by CA

Dear Supporter:

This year, the Crispus Attucks Association turned 85 years strong! It is humbling to think that since 1931, people like you have believed in our mission, making it possible to educate and enhance the lives of thousands of people in York County. Thank YOU!CA Youth Summer Program

Many times during the past year, I found myself reminiscing about the faces that have graced Crispus Attucks as children, students, adults, mentors, leaders, and supporters. For 85 years, thousands of people have benefitted from the same recipe for success at Crispus Attucks– empowering themselves to become self-sufficient, educated, and responsible citizens and leaders in our York community.

While we proudly celebrate many years of successes, we know our work is never done.

Mr. Simpson congratulating a Charter School student at graduationA teenage student thinks about dropping out of school to help her father pay the rent. A little boy waits up for his mother to get home from her second job and read him a bedtime story. A 70 year-old man goes for months without contact from friends or relatives. A family must talk to their children about what to do if gun shots are heard outside their home. With your continued compassion, together, we can help each person achieve their own success story.

As I imagine how Crispus Attucks’ next 85 years might impact the community, I am inspired by the possibilities available to the next generation of leaders. I am asking for you to invest in the future of our community by supporting Crispus Attucks’ vital programs to educate and empower children and adults, and to revitalize our neighborhoods.

Robert L. Simpson
Chief Executive Officer

P.S.   We could never influence the positive change in people’s lives without you. Please consider making a contribution today!


  • South Side Steppers perform at United Way’s Day of Caring June 2014 South Side Steppers perform at United Way’s Day of Caring June 2014

Give to Crispus Attucks

Donate Now

Join the Pulse E-news

* indicates required

Connect with us on Social Media



Get Adobe Flash player