The Garage team is small group of people who are passionate about youth, education, justice, equality, and grace. It is our great commission to humbly walk alongside our students in whatever hardships they endure and to love them fiercely regardless of their circumstances.
In the heart of Kennett Square and West Grove is a community of people whose hearts beat for the youth of our town. We are committed to knowing each one’s name and story, and helping them to write the next best chapter of their lives.
Kristin Proto, Executive Director
Kristin Proto became the Executive Director of The Garage Community and Youth Center in May of 2013. She began her employment with The Garage in West Grove, serving as the founding Director in 2011. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and History from University of Pittsburgh, and a Secondary Education certification from St. Joseph’s University. Through her work with AmeriCorps, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, and PathStone Corporation, Kristin has over 12 years experience in the non-profit sector, working with immigrants, refugees, and at-risk youth, while developing educational and work-readiness programs.
Kristin lives in West Grove with her husband Anthony and their children Lydia and little Anthony. They enjoy spending time with family, traveling, and working in their slightly outrageous garden.
Vacant, Development Director
Bill Rose, Director of Operations
After starting his career early in the corporate world managing international electronic data acquisitions throughout Europe, Asia, and South America Bill Rose has focused his energy and talents on leadership and community development within the non-profit sector. Before becoming Director of the West Grove Garage, Bill had successfully developed and facilitated engaging after-school programs for (ELL’s) English Language Learners in middle and high school in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Following a call to empower marginalized communities abroad, Bill and his family moved to Central America for two years where he oversaw and managed the construction and development of multiple medical facilities for an international NGO as country director in Nicaragua. With over 12 years of experience leading teams in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Bill stands firm behind the idea that an organization’s success depends on the leadership that is put in place and that each leader is responsible for creating an environment that empowers, encourages, and supports teams holistically to truly reach their potential. Bill obtained a B.S. in Business and Information Systems from Robert Morris University and a M.A. in International Development Eastern University’s school of Leadership and Development.
Currently, Bill lives in Kennett Square, PA with his wife Ally and dog Zola.
Lorena Baeza, Graduate Coordinator
Lorena joined The Garage in January of 2017. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts from California University of Pennsylvania and over 10 years of experience working with youth at Migrant Education, CCIU Adult Literacy Program, and Familias Fuertes at Holcomb Behavioral Health. Lorena loves working with young adults, giving back to the community, and helping youth reacher their goals. In this newly formed role, she hopes to serve as a role model, inspiration, and guide to youth and their families. In her free time, she enjoys spending time wth family and friends.
Kristin Kotler, Kennett Assistant Director
Kristin joined The Garage in February 2016 as a Program Coordinator in Kennett. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education from Eastern University, as well as her teaching certification in Mathematics. Her past experience includes working as a Student Support Specialist and Site Coordinator for the Chester County Intermediate Unit, Special Education Teacher for the Unionville Chadds-Ford School District and most recently a Special Education Mathematics Teacher for the Kennett Consolidated School District.
Diane Bove, Volunteer & Mentor Coordinator
Diane joined The Garage in Kennett Square in November 2008 and has worked in a variety of roles. Diane has worked with and on behalf of youth for over nine years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and International Relations from The College of William and Mary. Prior to joining The Garage team, she interned with the National Association for the Education of Young Children focusing on issues of homelessness and education, and worked as a camp counselor. Diane is passionate about her work with youth, especially regarding the power of mentoring to influence each youth.
Diane also works with a ministry called The Table that serves Kennett youth. She and other leaders provide dinner and an opportunity to frankly and honestly discuss the Bible and relationship with God. She enjoys being outdoors especially when hiking, gardening, or taking pictures. She lives in Kennett with her husband two daughters.
Ines Guerrero, Girls Program Coordinator
Ines began working at The Garage in 2006 as after-school staff and has worked with youth for over twelve years. Before The Garage, Ines worked with Kennett Middle and High School students through the Migrant Education Program at the Chester County Intermediate Unit. She came from Mexico at the age of twelve and studied and lived in Kennett Square for six years. Ines loves being able to be a support and continue having a positive influence on the lives of youth. She likes sharing her artistic abilities with the students or just taking a meaningful walk and talking.
Ines loves expending time with her family. She loves art, cooking, music and being purposeful. Currently she resides with her husband, daughter, and son in Coatesville.
Anthony Strickland, Boys Program Coordinator
Anthony joined The Garage in March of 2016 as the Boys Program Coordinator. He is 25 years old from Harrisburg, PA and his passion is working in youth development. Outside of work, Anthony enjoys watching and playing basketball, watching Pittsburgh Steelers football, and spending time in Philadelphia with his fiancée.
West Grove Staff
Eva Zamores, West Grove Assistant Director
Eva Zamores is the Academic Program Coordinator for the West Grove Garage. Eva has over six years experience working with Latino Youth. Through her experience with Migrant Education, Pre-K Counts, and the Oxford Area School district, she has gained a deep understanding of the impact educators have on the lives of young people. As a Latina, Eva strives to be a role model to young Latinos: challenging their preconceptions, preparing them with essential skills and cultivating confidence in their capacity to make positive contributions to society. Eva is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education at West Chester University and a certification in ELL (English Language Learners).
Eva enjoys interior decorating, DIY crafts and spending time with her husband and family. Eva currently resides in Lincoln University, PA with her husband.
Jeremy Peterson, Boys Program and Community Service Coordinator
Jeremy joined the Garage team in March of 2015. Prior to taking over the Boy’s Program Coordinator position at the West Grove center Jeremy spent the previous five years managing various stores for General Nutrition Center. Even though the majority of his work experience comes from the business sector Jeremy is very passionate about working with youth, and really enjoys meeting and interacting with all kinds of people. He has had the joy and privilege of working with many middle and high school students as well as young adults through various ministries throughout his church and in his community including the YMCA and Good Neighbors.
Jeremy resides in West Grove with his wife Carla. In his free time he enjoys being with friends and family, cooking, being active, and catching up on comic books. Jeremy started pursuing a Masters Degree in Divinity in the Fall of 2016, and feels honored to be apart of the great work The Garage is doing in the Kennett Square and West Grove communities.
Amber Marcoon, Girls Program Coordinator
Amber has been part of The Garage family since 2014, serving as the Volunteer and Mentor Programs Coordinator and most recently as the Girls Program Coordinator. Her calling is to help young women know their worth, cultivate their strengths, grow in confidence and live from a place where they are loved. When she’s not working at The Garage, you can find her looking through a camera lens, working on her latest piece of writing or exploring the Chester County backwoods.