RBBB Welcomes 5 New Board Members!

Read Better Be Better (RBBB) is so excited to announce that we are welcoming five new members to our Governing Board! Please join us in welcoming four new board members, Chassity Andrews, Jeff Geyer, Laura Ory, and Noriana Hermes, and our new Advisor to the Board, Angel Ahumada!

RBBB began recruiting for our board expansion in February 2021, prioritizing representation in this process and seeking individuals with lived experience of the communities and fields that we work in. To learn more about each new board member and advisor, keep reading.

Angel Ahumada, Advisor to the Board

Angel Ahumada has been a Program Coach with Read Better Be Better since January 2019. As soon as Angel saw the Program Coach job posting, he knew he could help and immediately jumped in headfirst. Angel has been critical to RBBB’s COVID sustainability, helping to build thousands of Literacy Kits for students since the pandemic began.

As a new Advisor to the Governing Board, Angel is very much looking forward to the days to come. Angel firmly believes that his work with RBBB is making a difference and truly helping shape futures; “Read Better Be Better has put me in a position to help the communities around me, and community I myself grew up in, and I am so proud of the work we do!”

Angel is currently pursuing a degree in teaching and special education and is looking forward to graduation. Before RBBB, Angel did not intend to enter the education system, but has found his true passion for education through his work with RBBB and couldn’t be happier.

Angel’s nieces and nephews are of utmost importance to him, and knows the work he is doing is helping to shape a better future for them to nourish and grow in.

Chassity Andrews headshotChassity Andrews, Governing Board Member

Chassity Andrews earned both her Bachelors in English and her Masters of Education from Arizona State University. Chassity has 7 years of experience as a classroom teacher and currently works with at-risk populations of students earning recovery credits to graduate high school.  Her passion for education is empowering the disempowered by mirroring their potential and cultivating self-actualization in the classroom and community. This passion has led her to commit to community service by serving on planning committees in the city of Maricopa, as an NACCP Youth advisor, and on the meet and confer committee for Maricopa High School.

Chassity is a self-published author of the book “The Art of Thyself”, a book inspired to nurture potential and implement positive affirmations into the lives of others. Chassity’s education and life philosophy is believing in the power of harnessing the potential of students and leaders to create impactful outcomes.

Chassity joined Read Better Be Better to support the initiative of creating positive outcome protectories for students and families: “Read Better Be Better has created a positive pipeline and pathway for students that can often remain unseen. Read Better Be Better brings visibility to students whose potential simply needs to be recognized, ignited, and cultivated.”

Jeff Geyer smiles in his headshotJeff Geyer, Governing Board Member

Jeff Geyer grew up in Northern Virginia and has lived in Phoenix since 1991. Jeff holds a BA in Hotel/Restaurant Management from James Madison University and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University.

In 1997, Jeff made the decision to re-career away from restaurant and retail management and has never looked back. He has worked as an educator for the past 23 years in the Creighton district in Central Phoenix, starting as a Kindergarten teacher, and eventually teaching first and third grade. He then spent three years as an Assistant Principal before becoming Principal at Papago school. Most recently, Jeff has been appointed as the Principal for the new Creighton Virtual Academy, which will open in the Fall of 2021.

Jeff is an active member of several professional organizations including the International Society for Technology in Education, AZTEA, the Arizona Technology in Education Association, and the Arizona School Administrators Association.

Jeff is married to Maria, a 2nd-grade teacher, and together they have two kids: Harrison and Amelia. The Geyer family loves to travel in California, swim, hike, play with their two dogs, read Kindles, and play board games.

Laura Ory headshotLaura Ory, Governing Board Member

Laura Ory was born in Phoenix and is passionate about providing creative, nurturing, and educational activities for Arizona’s youth. Laura is a journalism graduate from the University of Arizona, where she was a reporter and editor for the Daily Wildcat, and chair of the student-run nonprofit, Camp Wildcat, promoting higher education through camps for students in Title 1 schools.

Laura was a reporter in southeast Arizona for the Sierra Vista Herald until moving back to the Valley in 2009, transitioning into a public relations and marketing career. She has served as a volunteer and mentor for Free Arts of Arizona for Abused Children for over a decade, providing intentional art activities that promote safety, self-expression, skill-building, and self-efficacy.

Laura currently serves as the Communications Manager for United Food Bank, which provides food assistance through over 150 agencies and programs in the East Valley and eastern Arizona. She lives in Phoenix with her husband Andrew and her dogs Max and Inga. They are expecting a new baby soon!

Noriana Hermes, Governing Board Member

Noriana Hermes is currently working as the National Program Coordinator for the Child Advocate Program at the Young Center. The Young Center is a champion for the best interests of children who arrive in the United States on their own, from all corners of the world.

Prior to joining the Young Center, Noriana was a Managing Attorney at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP) in Phoenix, Arizona. At FIRRP, Noriana represented detained and released children before the Phoenix Immigration Court and Maricopa County Juvenile Court. Noriana also ran the CUNY Citizenship Now! Clinic in Arizona where she provided free legal services to Legal Permanent Residents eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship.

Noriana obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico-School of Law and she has BSBA in Operations Management from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus. Noriana is committed to working with underserved children and helping them access equal opportunities.

Welcome, all! RBBB is lucky to have you.