Leadership in Los Angeles
Our executive director, staff, alumni, board members and partners are committed to building a stronger Los Angeles by supporting and developing our AmeriCorps members as leaders in their schools and community.
Executive Director for City Year Los Angeles
Dr. Sandra Cano is intimately familiar with the communities served by City Year LA, having been raised in some of the same neighborhoods where our students currently live. She has worked in the field of education for over two decades, starting her career as a kindergarten teacher on an emergency credential with her urgent need to provide for her daughter as a young mother.
Dr. Cano went on to attend the Teacher Education Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received her teaching credential and master’s in education. As an educator, she served as a teacher, a staff development specialist, coordinator, and served as a principal for ten years. She received her doctorate in education at the University of California, Los Angeles, where her dissertation focused on culturally and linguistically responsive practices for long term English learners.
Dr. Cano most recently comes to us from the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she serves as a Field Coordinator for Beyond the Bell, LAUSD’s before and after school program. In this role, she oversees programming in 72 high schools serving 10,000 students. She works with 12 non-profit organizations that provide the programming, and manages $15 million in private, federal, and state grants that fund the programs. Dr. Cano also oversees several special projects for the department, such as a partnership with the Air Force Association’s Cyber Patriot National Youth Cyber Education Program, and the Take Action Campaign, which provides community service and leadership opportunities to social-justice minded high school students. She partners with the William Morris talent agency to provide internships for students, and helped develop a COVID-era E-Sports program with the A.C. Green Youth Foundation.
Dr. Cano lives in Los Angeles, with frequent visits from her college age daughter, Yzabel.