Our Founders

Dr. Joseph L. Amprey, Jr.

Dr. Joseph L. Amprey, Jr.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Joseph L. Amprey, Jr., is a retired professor from the Department of Student Support Services, the International Students’ Advisor, and the director of the Multicultural Studies Program at Kutztown University. He was employed at Kutztown University for 21 years. His fields of specialization are human diversity, race relations, psychology, and international studies.
He earned a B. A. at Morgan State University in Baltimore, an M.Ed. at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, an M.S. at the University of Baltimore, and a Ph.D. at The American University in Washington, D.C. For three years, he was the editor of the Journal of the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals; and for 11 years, he wrote a column on race relations for the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pennsylvania. He is also the editor of the book, Student Development on the Small Campus, and the author of many papers for professional journals and other scholarly publications. Presently, he is publisher and editor of The Drum, a monthly newspaper which focuses on news and views affecting people of color in Berks and Montgomery Counties.

Robert Jefferson

Robert Jefferson

Robert Jefferson was born in Reading and pursued career paths in California, but moved back to Berks County in 1992. He worked as a corrections officer in California and Pennsylvania, and as a radio program director and announcer in California and Mississippi. He was elected NAACP president in 2008, but had been interim president since 2006. The NAACP filed civil rights lawsuits against Reading’s Fire Department for testing and hiring practices; halted proposed construction on an underground railroad site in Ontelaunee Township; joined a march in Boyertown to fight against a cross-burning incident; and resolved racial discrimination complaints from local workers.

He has been recognized for his community activities, including Recipient of the Central Pennsylvania African-American Museum Achievement Award; Reading Outstanding Community Service Award; Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate Community Service Citation; and the Berks County Memorial Gardens Outstanding Performance Award.

After his participation as a School founder, he joined its Board of Directors. Jefferson lives in Wyomissing with his wife, Patsy, has four children, two stepchildren, and four step grandchildren.

Joseph Guillama, Esq.

Joseph Guillama, Esq.

Joseph Guillama, Esq. is a practicing attorney who, aside from handling divorce and custody issues, devotes much of his time to the representation of children who appear in Berks County Juvenile Court.

Born in Reading and a life-long resident of Berks County, Joe cares deeply about the youth of Reading and focuses much of his energy on addressing issues that impact the quality of life of our community’s children. Joe also coordinated a project funded by the MacArthur Foundation known as “Models For Change.” This project attempted to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Berks County juvenile justice system, and address its weaknesses by implementing sound procedural and substantive programming to establish a model juvenile justice system for other counties and states to follow. Through this project, Joe worked very closely with the Honorable Arthur Grim and the Berks County Juvenile Probation Office in rallying members of the community to come together to address issues contributing to juvenile delinquency.

Cory Varona

Cory Varona

Cory Varona was a student at Pennsylvania State Berks Campus, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. While there, Cory was the founder and president of the first Latino club (LUC), and was involved in tutoring programs for the Reading School District.

Cory has a great passion for her community and is also involved with many community organizations.

Angel Figueroa

Angel Figueroa

Angel Figueroa is a transformational leader and powerful communicator.

He has extensive years of conducting leadership development training throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His passion for training adults and youth has led him to become the President of the Puerto Rican Latin Association of Berks County. He is also the founder of the Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce and was the co-author of the Berks County Latino Leadership Institute.

He ran for office and his unique enthusiasm led him to become the first Hispanic to be elected city councilman in the City of Reading. As one of the youngest ever to serve, he began his term in office at the age of 27. All the while he served as Vice President of Resource Development for I-LEAD, Inc. With his commitment to education unyielding, he committed himself to continuing his academic career. He finished his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Albright College and completed his Master’s in Business Administration from Kutztown University in 2010.

He is currently the Chief Operations Officer at the School, and serves in a leadership role in the School’s administration. Angel is the embodiment of transformational leadership and a masterful speaker. He works tirelessly to improve himself and his community, yet still finds time to be a devoted husband to his wife, Isamac Torres-Figueroa, dedicated father to his daughters, and committed to his family and community.

Cynda Clyde

Cynda Clyde

Cynda Clyde served as Assistant Director for Development with I-LEAD, Inc. A native of the Philadelphia region, she is grateful to be introduced to Reading. Teaching first for I-LEAD, Inc. at college sites in Philadelphia, she joined its staff full-time in 2008.

She comes to the School with a passion for education and community empowerment, and a professional background in community development, job training, policy analysis, and strategic consulting.

Dr. Jay Guben

Dr. Jay Guben

Dr. Jay Guben was the founder and co-director of Freire Charter School in Philadelphia, which served public school students, grades 8-12; founder and director of the Restaurant School, a proprietary school for culinary professionals and future restaurant owners (now Walnut Hill College); and founder and promoter of Praxis Learning Institutes, which offer expanded academic and experiential learning activities as an alternative to traditional secondary school programming. Dr. Guben has served as a consultant for the Model Cities Initiative in the City of Cincinnati, developed an employee ownership program with the Retail Clerks Union, and relatedly founded O&O Investment Fund, a not-for-profit business incubator and funding mechanism for worker-owned and operated ventures. Involved in 20 new business start-ups, Dr. Guben participated in training for new business development at the Center for Community Studies at Temple University.

A lifelong learner, Dr. Guben earned his Doctorate of Philosophy from Union Institute, a Bachelor of Arts in Management from Saint Mary’s University, and a Pennsylvania Certificate in Conflict Management from the Martin Luther King School at Crozier Theological Seminary. Further training includes group process and experiential learning theory with Tavistock Institute, the study and knowledge of social and workplace systems with A. K. Rice Institute, and membership in the Philadelphia Center for Organizational Dynamics.