Sandra McBrayer is the Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Initiative and an internationally known advocate for children, youth and families. The Children’s Initiative is a San Diego-based child advocacy agency. The Initiative, through collaboration and partnerships with community leaders, organizations and government agencies develops, enhances and strengthens policy, programs and projects, which serve children and youth.
As an adjunct professor in the College of Education at San Diego State University, she introduces new and first-year teachers to the multi-cultural, socio-political and economic dynamics of education.
President Clinton named Ms. McBrayer the 1994 National Teacher of the Year, and as such she served as an education ambassador. Ms. McBrayer participates in national and international debates, addressing issues and concerns facing children and families. She was also the 1993 California and San Diego County Teacher of the Year.
In 1987, Ms. McBrayer founded and developed the first successful school in the United States for homeless and unattended youth, serving as head teacher for the Homeless Outreach School (now known as Monarch High School ) in San Diego until 1996.
A knowledgeable and inspirational advocate for education, equity and individual involvement in bettering the lives of children and youth, Ms. McBrayer has been spotlighted on Good Morning America, CNN, Primetime, Lifetime Magazine, and CBS This Morning. Radio interviews have aired on National Public Radio (NPR) and Voice of America, and she has been featured in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Christian Science Monitor and in 2001, as a “hero for children” in Ladies Home Journal.
Ms. McBrayer has been appointed by the California Governor to chair the State Advisory for Before and After School Programs. She has also been appointed by the Chief Justice of California to serve on the Judicial Council Access and Fairness Advisory Committee. Ms. McBrayer chairs and serves on numerous local, state and national boards including: Agency for Instructional Technology, San Diego Commission on Children, Youth and Families, San Diego Workforce Investment Board, San Diego Council on Literacy, Department of Justice – Project Safe Neighborhood, California After School Partnership, and the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council.
Other honors include Distinguished Alumna of the Year of the San Diego State University (SDSU) College of Education, Outstanding Service Recognition Award from the California State Senate and Assembly, Headliner of the Year award from the San Diego Press Club, Woman of Vision in Education from the League of Women Voters, Exceptional Service Award from the California State PTA, Humanitarian award from Youth Advocacy Association, and Living Legacy Award from the International Women’s Center.