Star of the Month: Joan Sanders

Joan Sanders (left) pictured with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Joan Sanders (left) pictured with First Lady Michelle Obama.

We are excited to announce Joan Sanders as our April Star of the Month!  A California native, Joan is the Principal at Carnelian Elementary School in Alta Loma, California.  With over 15 years of experience as a principal at four different schools, she has proven her commitment to each and every student she’s worked with.  Before her career as an educator and administrator, Sanders devoted herself to her own education.  She is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University and the University of Redlands, and has completed several years of post-graduate training.  Her faith in students inspired her to pursue a career as a principal.  “I believe it is important to make a positive difference in thelives of others. As a teacher, I enjoyed working with my class, but I recognized that schools need leaders who passionately believe all students can be successful,” she said. Sanders loves the interactions she has with her students, and the relationships that are built as a result.  In fact, she makes it a point to meet individually with all of her students for a “Principal Chat” to build on those relationships and hopefully plant some inspiration in each student.  “Making a positive difference in the lives of students can be very rewarding. Serving as an educator is a tough job, but well worththe sacrifice,” said Sanders. We salute Joan for her continued dedication to her students and for always living by her motto:  “When you believe in yourselves and others, anything is possible!”

Star of the Month: Heather Raspberry

Heather RaspberryThis month we are pleased to honor Heather Raspberry as our Star of the Month!  Heather has extensive experience in her field, as well as a huge heart for her community.  She was appointed Executive Director of The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) in March of 2012. Prior to joining HAND,  Heather held leadership positions within the marketing and communications area in the public, private and nonprofit sectors for ten years.

Most recently she worked for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. where she developed and executed national and regional public relations campaigns that advanced the business and philanthropic priorities of the organization and its subsidiaries.

In 2009, Heather was selected by the District of Columbia Family Court as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) and trained to represent the best interest of youth in foster care; and in 2012, she received CASA’s Volunteer of the Year Award. She was recognized by the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development in 2013 as a Rising Leader in Community Development; tapped to participate in the 2013 NTL Institute’s Leaders of Color Program; and received Affordable Housing Finance’s Young Leader award in 2014. Heather’s other engagements include co-founding the No Murders Project; administrator to the Saturday Leadership Academy for the 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, D.C.; sitting on the program committee of the Virginia Housing Coalition, Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Selection Committee and the BB&T CRA Steering Committee.  Heather holds a dual bachelor’s degree in public relations and business management from Hampton University.

Congratulations, Heather!

You can see more about HAND here.

Star of the Month: Daniel Bradley

Daniel Bradley, CEO & Co-Founder of Dreams Work, Inc.

Daniel Bradley, CEO & Co-Founder of Dreams Work, Inc.

Daniel Bradley strives to inspire, uplift, and encourage all those that cross his path.  As the CEO and Co-Founder of Dreams Work, Inc., he uses the fine arts as a mode of reaching youth.  The non-profit organization is designed to equip young people to face critical social issues plaguing their communities, preparing them to become “artistic activists.”

Bradley has often been inspired by song lyrics recited by his Grandmother:

“If I can help somebody, as I pass along…Then my living shall not be in vain.”

Bradley has traveled extensively throughout the United States, the U.K. and the Virgin Islands to facilitate training sessions in youth development strategies. With more than 10 years of experience in youth development and community organizing, it is our honor to name Daniel as our Star of the Month!

You can find out more about Dreams Work, Inc. here.