Alumnus Finds Career, Personal Satisfaction through Leading Nonprofit That Helps with Reentry
AliceAnne Frost ’12 liked her work as an accountant. She just believed she needed to do more with her life.
After two years of college as a prepharmacy major and several working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), AliceAnne moved to York with her husband and decided it was time to work on a career. She enrolled at York College. “I knew I was good in math and had a knack for numbers,” she said. “I decided I wanted to be an auditor and would major in accounting.”
As a nontraditional college student in her mid-20s who worked overnight as a CNA, AliceAnne took a full load of courses to push through to her degree in three years. She graduated from York College in December 2012 and worked as a public accountant and then as an accounting manager. “I needed to do more,” she said. “I had done auditing for some nonprofits, and I really liked that, understanding how the funding worked to support their missions. I wanted to engage with more of those types of accounts, but I also wanted to interact with people.”
In 2016, AliceAnne began volunteering for The Program: It’s About Change, a nonprofit in Harrisburg dedicated to providing resources and encouragement to men and women returning home from incarceration. She spent her time on accounting work but felt particularly connected to its mission. “When I was younger, my dad helped young people caught in the juvenile justice system get a start and stay on the right path. He also worked with men and women coming home from the system. We knew those families; we housed those families.”
AliceAnne was presented with the opportunity to lead The Program in 2017. She accepted, and the organization has grown significantly with her at the helm. It opened a second location in York in 2019 and offers its services – family reunification, housing assistance, mentoring, workforce development – to residents of her hometown.
In addition to her work with The Program, AliceAnne also serves as York City’s Controller, an elected position charged with upholding and overseeing the City’s budget, which City Council approves and the mayor spends.
She is also the board president of the Capital Region-Offender Support Coalition in Harrisburg, chair of York County Reentry Coalition’s Mentoring Committee, on the leadership council of the Community Action for Reentry and Diversion (CARD) of York County, and a board member of Keystone Kidspace in York.
How did her time at York College contribute to her busy and successful professional life? It got her started through opportunities – internships and on-campus recruiting – that were both very important.
“I remember being so nervous at an internship fair,” AliceAnne said. “I did not want to talk with anybody, but I decided I had to try. I gave my résumé to the Shipley Energy table, because the staff was friendly and easy to talk to. It was the only résumé I submitted that day.
“Lo and behold, I got a call a few days later and ended up interning with Shipley,” she said. “I had never been in a professional office environment. That internship was one of the toughest things I went through, but it was also the best thing I went through because it challenged me in many ways. I saw all aspects of the business and stepped out of my comfort zone. I learned a lot of accounting stuff, but I also learned to interact with people.”
AliceAnne got her first job out of college by attending an on-campus job fair during her senior year. She took advantage of coaching that was offered beforehand, which “helped me feel comfortable meeting with the recruiters. Thanks to that, I had a full-time job secured before I graduated.”
AliceAnne’s advice to students is to take advantage of those important opportunities York College presents. “And do well, but do an internship, meet new people, and do things that scare you or the things you think you can’t do.”