Sandra was born and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco, a daughter of Mexican born immigrants who have deep roots in SF since before the 1950’s. Sandra is a first generation bilingual/-bi-cultural educated Chicana/Mexicana/Indigena and mother to a happy active 11 year old son!
Her roots in community organizing began in San Francisco’s Mission District with great leaders and elders that developed and fostered in her a great sense of social responsibility through grassroots youth leadership development. She has been directly involved in nonprofit community work in the Bay Area working as part of the local violence prevention movement as an advocate and educator for the past 26 years; a passion that began with her participation in the District-wide walk-outs for Ethnic Studies in San Francisco in 1994.
At 17, she started working for the Real Alternatives Program (RAP) and with the community Peace Initiative (CPI) focusing on youth leadership development with disadvantaged and system involved youth, as well as advocating for critical City-wide violence prevention programming. This was during the 1990’s; a time when many youth were lost to violence in the Mission. She graduated from Phillip and Sala Burton HS in the San Francisco Bayview District and moved on to study at San Francisco State University majoring in La Raza Studies and Radio and Television Broadcasting. Her experiences in various positions since then vary from direct service provider, coordination and supervision of staff, community capacity builder, organizer and administrative leadership.
Currently in her spare time she is a consultant providing sound and technical support to various nonprofits, community group events and community meetings. She also is a consultant for trainings around community healing from trauma using an anti-oppression framework. She also provides mentorship/advisor, and organizational spiritual/healing support to others. She was recently awarded to be a Koshland Fellow through the San Francisco Foundation for her past community work in San Francisco and in the Mission District; specifically working with homeless marginally housed women. She is a traditional Aztec Dancer and you can find her spending many weekends in ceremonies with her son.
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