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About Us

​In October of  1995, Kenneth D. Winston, George Smith, Darryl Vinson, George Gadsden, and ​Rev. Greg Thornton established Phoenixville Area Positive Alternatives in the spirit of The Million Man March. They wanted to provide opportunities for  at risk youth to stay off the streets after school and instead dedicate their time to activities that would help their growth. Their first initiative was the rehabilitation of the C'Jon Saunders Park.

Each year, Phoenixville Area Positive Alternatives serves the children and youth from surrounding neighborhoods, providing quality programs through academic enrichment, social development, and athletic programming. Many of our programs are offered free or at minimal cost to families.


These include our after-school programs New Direction and Fast Forward to help elementary and middle school students with schoolwork and provide a safe place for them once school has let out, S.A.F.E. (Summer Activities For Enrichment) Camp to keep children's minds working during the off months paired with excursions, and the summer basketball league to provide fun and community for the youth in Phoenixville.

Primarily a volunteer, grass-roots organization, PAPA works closely with the Phoenixville Area School District, the Borough of Phoenixville, Phoenixville Community Health Foundation and other local organizations to create a positive, effective, and motivating force in the Phoenixville community.​


Executive Director - Alexis Son

Program Coordinator - Keri Brooks

Board of Directors


Jon Kandrick



Rich Gephart 


Myra Sanchez

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Blake Emmanuel

Vice President


Kenneth Winston


Jonathan Duncan

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Amber Gentile 


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Lisa Katarynick


Scott Szewczak





Board of Directors

Jon Kandrick

Kenneth D. Winston

Myra Sanchez

Rich Gephart 

Amber Gentile

Scott Szewczak

Lisa Katarynick

Blake Emmanuel

Jonathan Duncan

Brittany Gephart

Director Emeritus

John Alexander

Michael Howell

Gregory Thornton

Honorary Members

Charles Rice, Ph.D.

Teddy Travis-Bey

Dolores Winston

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In 2020 PAPA celebrated its 25th Anniversary. From the Million Man March to Quarantine, we have pushed on through thick and thin, and hope for another 25 years of serving the Phoenixville community!

All PAPA programs are FREE or minimal cost. 

PAPA is able to do this because of great donors and the support of the community.

Please help us continue to keep our mission alive by making a donation today

"PAPA is a voice for the voiceless... they need a voice and an opportunity for their kids to thrive in the community. PAPA creates that."


~Chaya Scott

"I’m proud, I really am proud of where [PAPA] has come as an organization; of the impact they’ve had on the kids and the families as a whole in the community of Phoenixville."

~Jon Kandrick

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