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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 Children’s Initiative is dedicated to assisting children, youth and families thrive and prosper by providing leadership, advocacy, cross system collaboration, training and technical assistance to government entities, community organizations, schools and businesses. The Initiative draws upon more than 20 years of experience, working across the areas of health, education, community safety, and economic security. The Initiative’s unique community role includes: using data and research to drive change, developing innovative community solutions, and building lasting partnerships to implement positive system and policy change that support children, families and communities.


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 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 and the California State Committee on Juvenile Justice. She was 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 Workforce Youth Council, Department of Justice - Project Safe Neighborhood, California After School Partnership and the San Diego Juvenile Justice Task Force.

Other honors include Distinguished Alumna of the Year of the 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.

Stories of Leadership

Sandra McBrayer is the CEO of the Children's Initiative and an internationally known advocate for children, youth and families.

National Teacher of the Year

Washington, D.C. (April 1994) - A combination of perseverance, creativity and compassion has helped San Diego teacher Sandra McBrayer reach hundreds of inner-city homeless children.




1987 - 1994

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