News & Views

Summer Work Experience Program Finishes Strong

August 18, 2016


The Center for Employment & Training’s HYPE program finished the summer with a fun- and snack-filled field day for all of the participants.  HYPE stands for Helping Youth through Prevention and Education.  The program provides students young adults with a paid summer job that helps the York community in many ways.  This summer, these jobs varied from assisting with child care to helping residents with yard work.

IMG_3435 Bright

Students Gain Experience

Participating in work that gives back to the community has a way of empowering these students.  Amirah described the program as a “fun and challenging learning experience.” Through dedicated themselves to a job for the summer, many students learned the value of respect, hardwork, and communicating as a team. “You need to be accountable and you can’t bring your bad attitude to work,” Jayquan shared about his takeaways from working with the Community Progress Council. Alex really valued that the program “gave [participants] an education for a real job. [He] learned soft skills like handshaking and presentation for the first time with CET.”

This program influenced participants’ ideas about their future endeavors and careers  their.  One student expressed five different professions she would like to have; She viewed the HYPE program as an initial step to understand different workplace settings. Reed, a Dallastown student, also wanted to gain job experience before going to college for film production. The majority of students see the benefit that the HYPE program offers for their future, displayed by the many second-year participants.

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Community Wins Assistance and Leaders

This sentiment was expressed by many of the other youth including Nekaybaw who “worked outside and cleaned up trash and helped clean up a yard.” Many of the new participants looked up to the second-year students and are committed to coming back next summer for the expanded responsibilities and experience they can earn. from  to take part again next summer. When they return they will even better leaders for the group and in time the community.

Overall, the HYPE program is providing these youth with learning opportunities and skills for their future.  It is definitely more than the average summer job.


Meet Our New Development Director

August 01, 2016


Upon meeting Donna Chandler one can sense her friendly demeanor, optimism, and overall upbeat spirit in mere seconds. These traits come from her love of family, York, and helping others.

In June, Donna started as the Development Director at Crispus Attucks.  We are very excited to welcome her to The Heart of Change.



A native to York County, Donna loves every aspect of the York community, especially the mix of country and city life. She has a long history working with nonprofit organizations in the York community, including the American Heart Association and Child Care Consultants. Her work with these organizations has lead Donna to develop many skills including creativity, interpersonal skills, and networking abilities. Helping others is truly Donna’s passion in life and the personal, hands on nature of the work really captivated her. Anyone who speaks with Donna will instantly realize she is extremely personable and has a big heart. This can be seen in her love of family—both her own and the families CA works with everyday.



HEART WORK, not hard work

CA’s success in the York community is what Donna really admires about the organization. From interacting with CA in  her previous positions, she knows how much of an impact Crispus Attucks makes on the community and wanted to join in those efforts. As Development Director, Donna works to ensure that CA’s mission continues to impact lives in the future by garnering support from donors who make the work possible. One of the main aspects of her role is fund-development, which Donna prefers to call “fun-development”. One goal that Donna has is to immerse herself in the multitude of programs that CA offers.  She is really looking forward to delving into every aspect of the organization and is excited to work together with staff and volunteers alike to strengthen CA’s development strategy.


We are excited to welcome Donna and hope you are too.  When you see her around, please say hello. Help Donna feel a part of the CA family by sharing a little about yourself below.




New Face Among the Rising STARS

July 22, 2016

New Face, Same passion


Philip Drayden Jr. is the newest addition to the Crispus Attucks family as the Youth Education Director for the Rising STARS Program.  His enthusiasm and eagerness to work with youth and create programs for them is engaging to everyone he meets.


For Phil working with Crispus Attucks is truly a family affair.  As a child he participated in many of the programs that CA offered, his sister was a member of the World Championship South Side Steppers, and his grandfather played basketball for CA in his day, to describe just a few of his connections to the organization.


Phil is an extremely respectful and enthusiastic individual, especially when talking about the future of Crispus Attucks.  In fact, one of the things he found most impressive upon his return to York was how it appears now and the increase in youth development focused programs and groups.  Phil wants to help York to thrive as it is both his hometown and now where he is raising his three children.




Phil’s scientific background, which includes an engineering degree from Penn State University, influences his goals for the Rising STARS program.  He desires to make CA a place where everyone wants to come and participate.  Phil looks forward to implementing even more programs here at CA, including a culinary school and more sports, along with other programs to expand CA’s reach in the community.  This new culinary project is modeled after a  program that Phil assisted with when he lived in the Midwest.  The Midwest program was so successful that the students’ food products were actually sold in organic food stores, such as Whole Foods.    His two favorite words are “abundance” and “enthusiasm”.  Phil plans on providing the STARS with an abundance of opportunities to show them academic and career fields they might not have known, just like the M.O.E.S.T. program did for him as a youth.  Phil is very enthusiastic about these changes, which will definitely rub off onto the youth and other staff he works with.


Click here to discover more about the Rising STARS program today.

Honoring a Living Legacy and Youth Advocate

July 22, 2016

Selena Dickson Wins Youth Mentor Award


Marion Howard’s family presents an award each year to a  recipient who demonstrates love, strength, and inspires young people in the community. This award was created to honor Mrs. Howard’s life work, she stood for justice and the importance of valuing and loving all our young people in the community. Crispus Attucks honors Mrs. Howard’s legacy with the “It Takes A Village Award.”


This year, a very fitting winner received the prize. Selena Dickson was announced winner of the “It Take a Village Award” in honor of Mrs. Howard at Crispus Attucks Annual Mother and Daughter tea.


Selena’s Journey to Influence

Selena came to Crispus Attucks 20 years ago with a big idea. She presented her plan for starting a drill team to engage youth in a positive activity. With her experience in drill, competitive cheerleading, and various dance styles- such as African dancing and hip-hop- there was no doubt in leadership’s mind, Selena would be fit for the job. Just as expected, she has played a pivotal role in youth development for our community, but these are not skills she learned by herself.

From a young age, Selena has always been an active part of the Crispus Attucks family. The support she received growing up opened her eyes to an opportunity for herself to help others thrive. “My goal here is to see our youth graduate and further their education in hopes that they will achieve their goals in life.” Selena’s vision for her work focuses on giving the same support that she was given when she was young back to today’s youth. Selena hopes to be a role model and she is not alone in that quest. Many of Selena’s family members also volunteer for the Crispus Attucks Rising Stars program.

But there is one more person who truly influenced Selena’s drive and ability to serve youth, Mrs. Howard.

Selena remembered how “Marion trained and taught [her] everything that [she] knows about the youth today.” When Selena’s name boomed through the sound system at the Mother-Daughter Tea, she was surprised and excited to be the winner of the “It Take a Village award” in her friend’s honor. She reflected on how close she was with Mrs. Howard- like best friends or sisters, if you will. Selena said “They couldn’t have given this award to a better person than myself,” because in essence, the honor goes to Mrs. Howard’s positive influence on those in the community and all the wisdom she shared with Selena. As a true, living legacy for York County youth we are grateful to recognize Selena Dickson’s impact on young people in our community.

Meet The Summer Interns at CA

June 16, 2016

CA Summer Intern

Crispus Attucks would like to introduce its new interns for Summer 2016.  You can get to know each individual intern below.  CA cannot wait to see what stellar work these interns will produce and looks forward to seeing how they impact the York community.


Haley Benner, Communications and Development Intern


 Haley is a Junior, Global Affairs Major concentrating in Global Inequalities and Responses at George Mason University. She hopes to one day become a US Foreign Ambassador, but in the meantime would like to work and travel for a non-profit or international business.  Haley wanted to intern for Crispus Attucks to experience the inner-workings of a non-profit and help the community she grew up in.  A fun fact about Haley is that she just returned from studying abroad at the University of Oxford in England!


Ngoc Cao, Marketing and Special Events Intern


Ngoc is a Senior, Marketing/Supply Chain Management Major at the University of Maryland.  She plans to work in the marketing communication field after graduation.  Ngoc decided to intern for Crispus Attucks because she wanted to be a part of the community she lives in and to become a responsible citizen.  A fun fact about Ngoc is that in her free time she loves to write blogs, draw, and volunteer in the community!



Alison Houghton, Social Media and Public Relations Intern


  Ali is a Senior, Journalism Major with a concentration in Non-profit Communications at Rider University.  After college she hopes to land a job with a non-profit working as a social media and special events coordinator.  Ali wanted to intern for CA because she loves the work that Crispus Attucks has done for the community and continues to do! She is so excited to be a part of the legacy of great things happening here at CA.  A fun fact about Ali is that she has traveled from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in just one day!


Melany Ann Lozada, Community Events Intern


Melany is a Senior, Communication Studies Major with a Minor in Entrepreneurship at Millersville University.  After college she wants to help organizations promote and market their new brands as well as plan events.  Melany chose to intern at Crispus Attucks because she has seen how much CA has done for the community and feels that it is now her turn to give back to her hometown with the skills she has learned.  A fun fact about Melany is that she loves taco salad and movies!



If you would like to contribute your skills and knowledge to change York check out our Internships for 2016-2017 here.


CAELC Welcomes New Director

June 16, 2016

New Face, Same Passion at the Crispus Attucks Early Learning Center in York


With a wide smile and welcoming laugh, Juanita Cammon’s first impression easily showcases how she’s been successful working with families for more than 20 years. On June 6, Juanita started as the Center Director at the Crispus Attucks Early Learning Center.

Although she’ll be a new face at the ELC, she has always shared in Crispus Attucks’ passion for community enhancement and the value of education.

Working for the Community

Her longstanding work in the early education field has given her skills in leadership, program development, and service to families. Her journey began with a full scholarship to Fordham University in Bronx, NY. After graduating with her Master’s in Education, she worked at Brooklyn Headstart. There she was wooed by opportunities for parent engagement, improving learning environments, and connecting teaching curriculum to the school setting.

Her first love was education, but as she grew in experience she learned that her true love was community.

Through her years in Washington, DC, Juanita’s profession gave her the bigger picture of a holistic learning. She worked with organizations that helped her see the connection between educational success and the factors outside of the class that can affect achievement. Overcome by her passion for the industry, she shared her insight with the next generation of instructors as an adjunct professor at the College of New Rochelle.

Locally, she’s worked as the Director of the York Hospital Early Care and Learning Program for the past seven years.

Get to Know Juanita

Crispus Attucks Early Learning Center Hires New Director

New ELC Director meets teachers and children.

“My parents were my inspiration. My dad was a pastor and I was an observer. I remember seeing their zest for life. They had such a love for others and family.” From her parents’ example she has created an uplifting life for herself and those around her.

Juanita holds many roles in the community. She is a mother and grandmother. She has been in ministry for more than 35 years and is the pastor of REBORN Fellowship, serving out of Colonial Manor. When she isn’t guiding future leaders, she enjoys poetry and writing. She is a humble and introverted person, but if you can get her to talk about herself you might learn of her love for gospel, R&B, and jazz music.

Juanita said she decided to join the Heart of Change because she’s “always been involved in community engagement. And Crispus Attucks makes a difference in individual lives. It’s all about the community here. The difference is something the people can feel and it’s tangible- the community can see the change.”

We are excited to have her leadership benefit this valuable program.  Please help us welcome Juanita by introducing yourself when you see her on campus.

Crispus Attucks Blood Drive

February 18, 2016

Every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood. Help save lives by donating blood on Friday, March 4th from 9 AM until 3 PM. Crispus Attucks Charter School is hosting a blood drive and you can help make a difference by donating.

Reserve your spot by calling Val Foreman 848-3610 x261.

Want to See Your Legacy?

February 16, 2016

Leave a Legacy Crispus Attucks

What do you hope the future holds for you? What do you think you will accomplish? How will people remember you? At Crispus Attucks, we know a possible future for you, but you have to choose it for yourself. People who choose to join the Legacy Society, choose to make a difference beyond the their lifetime. When they choose to help participants, participants shine their legacy and make York County a better place.

Here’s what could happen:

Samyia carries your legacy and pushes your dreams for a better York County forward. You gave this hardworking student a treasure. Samyia became a leader in Crispus Attukcs’ Summer Work Experience Program because of your kindness. She gained prized experience by leading her peers and building her work experience. She discovered through trial and error how to bond with others and inspire people to work together for the greater good.

You gave her this opportunity by thoughtfully remembering Crispus Attucks in your will.

Samyia is very proud of what she has accomplished in our program thanks to your generosity. Because of your compassion, Samyia benefited from our Summer Work Experience Program and she is putting the skills she earned to good use for the Air Force. Samyia hopes to join the Catastrophe Relief squad after completing training, and you can be sure that she can do it because of the help you have given her. When you join the Crispus Attucks Legacy Society, you fuel positive change in our community for decades to come.  If you would like to learn more about how your legacy can change a community contact Mya Varno for an informational brochure, or at 717-848-3610 x248.

Learn more about how to create your legacy with this simple and informational brochure. Email Mya Varno, at, to receive your copy today.

Learn more about how to create your legacy with this simple and informational brochure. Email Mya Varno, at, to receive your copy today.

Reading for Two

February 16, 2016

Electronic toys and TV shows often replace human interaction for young children nowadays. Many parents, like the young adults in our Crispus Attucks Charter School (CACS), find it difficult to get their young children to focus through a whole book. However, our English teacher at CACS and father to a toddler, Craig Eckbold, knows well the challenges and benefits of early literacy. Reading with young children can achieve many advantages for youth, like increased vocabulary, enhanced imaginative and critical thinking skills, improved memory and concentration levels, even extended attention spans.

Monica, left, and Katelynn, right, browse through book options

Monica, left, and Katelynn, right, browse through book options

CACS helps kids graduate on time by building relationships with students. Mr. Eckbold is very different from his students, like Monica and Katelynn, but they appreciate how he earnestly listens to what is happening in their lives. Monica talked with Mr. Eckbold about her frustrations to get her one-year old son, Maeson, to sit through a whole book. This conversation in the fall, inspired Mr. Eckbold to add children and parenting books to the school’s library. This new library section is growing from infancy as Mr. Eckbold connects with sources for quality children’s books, but we need your help.

Student-Parents See the Benefits

These ladies have been borrowing books frequently from the library and they see the difference reading makes with their children. Monica and Maeson now enjoy reading books every night before bed. She savors this time to spend with her son and appreciates how his attention to books has grown. His favorite book right now is Elmo’s World: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. Monica asks Maeson to point to his own body and helps him connect the words and their meanings. Likewise, Katelynn prioritizes reading with her two-year old son, Braedyn. Bright-eyed Braedyn loves reading the interactive books that have mysterious folds and surprising pop-ups. Cars and animal books fascinate Braedyn, Katelynn says, and she likes to read with him so that he can advance in school.

Next Chapter for the Library- Includes You

Reading for Two at Crispus Attucks Charter School

Mr. Eckbold does not boast in being any kind of licensed counselor, but he always has an ear to listen to heart-felt discussions. “Any time I can be actively vulnerable is an opportunity to connect [with the students],” Mr. Eckbold admitted. It is conversations like the one with Monica that have taught Mr. Eckbold so much. Like any teacher he wants the best for his students and like any English teacher he would love if his students read more. He works to get more students reading books for themselves, as well as books for their children.

Please help us stock the library!

Please help us stock the library!

This section started on grant funds, but now our students depend on your help to connect with sources for quality books. Do you know a library looking to update their inventory? Do you have good books you could donate to our library? We hope to have 100 new books for young adults and 100 for the CA Kids Corner. Will you help us read for two?

Please read the wish list below and contact Craig Eckbold at to make a donation.

FUNdraising at Chuck E Cheese’s

February 04, 2016

The Early Learning Center holds a fundraiser at Chuck E Cheese's 4/16 3-9 pm, be sure to tell the cashier you're with CA!

Crispus Attucks’ supporters will be taking over Chuck E Cheese’s at York Mall, 2801 E Market St, East York, PA 17402.  Come have fun with us and raise money for the Early Learning Center on Wednesday, February 24th from 3-9 pm. 15 % of all your family’s night out gets donated to the Early Learning Center, including all food, merchandise and token deals purchased at the sign-ups. So be sure to mention that you’re with Crispus Attucks Early Learning Center and give your family a great night of fun.

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