Sandy is an alumnae from Bradley University; born and raised in an impoverished and high crime neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. Constant school staff support, academic achievements and leadership roles throughout her schooling facilitated opportunities for her to move to Peoria and attend Bradley University. Through out her time at Bradley, Sandy held a variety of executive officer positions that focused on program development, marketing, communications, fundraising, community service and cultural enrichment. Upon graduating and obtaining her degrees in Sociology and the Administration of Criminal Justice, Sandy settled and found home in Peoria and has since resided in the city of Peoria with her husband whom has strong roots in Peoria, and their 3 children. Their 2 oldest children attend District 150 schools. Sandy’s only 2 siblings also found home in central Illinois.
Sandy has been at Peoria Friendship House since May of 2011 and has served a variety of roles through her career at the agency working early on primarily with Latino individuals and families. Sandy is fluent in the Spanish language with over 10 years experience in interpreting and translating. Prior to joining Peoria Friendship House, Sandy worked over 5+ years as a Juvenile Probation Officer through Peoria County. Although she saw purpose in her role and worked with youth in unfortunate predicaments to better their lives, working with families with a vision to lead them to self-sufficiency and prosperity and combat the unfortunate predicaments at a different level became her new purpose.
As Vice President at Peoria Friendship House, Sandy’s primary roles surround the successful implementation and management of all programs and services now all found under the agency’s core A.C.E.S. Program. Sandy knows the difficulties that people living in poverty face on a daily basis and knows the Lord will continue to help her lead others as she herself was led. Weekly, Sandy and her team work diligently to strategize outside of the box yet attainable approaches to help individuals and families with barriers hindering their success.
Sandy is very grateful to be part of the vision of Peoria Friendship House and wakes up each morning feeling inspired as she knows she is working with a team that is just as excited as she is to transform not only people’s lives but our community as a whole.