MEXICAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL HALL OF FAME

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Sandra Calles, PhD

Dr. Sandra Calles is a psychologist, educator, life coach, mentor and activist. Her passion is to advocate for causes she believes in, teach about mental health topics, and guide others, so they may achieve success in their personal and career endeavors.

She has over 11 years of experience as a mental health professional having worked at various mental health facilities. Most recently she was a therapist at Los Angeles Harbor College at the Life Skills Center. While at Harbor College, she helped many students overcome emotional obstacles so they could transfer to universities and meet their career goals. She devotes her personal and professional life to political causes, and activities that promote mental health, women’s issues, the empowerment of Latinas through education, business ownership, financial literacy and political engagement. Dr. Sandra is a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills, earning both a BA in Human Services and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She earned her doctorate from Saybrook University in Psychology, where she developed a treatment modality from her research on survivors of sudden cardiac death. The treatment plan known as PROSPER, is an acronym detailing a healing plan that can be applied to survivors of various traumas and is the underpinning for the work she does with her clients..... Continue Reading

République’s new wine director is now one of the most influential Latina sommeliers in the country

On the second day of January, Taylor Parsons, chief author of one of the most dynamic wine lists in Los Angeles, left his position at République — that day, by his calculation, represented his 1,000th evening menu at the celebrated Hancock Park bistro. He plans to spend the next year developing a restaurant project he can call his own, consulting, and helping his wife Briana Valdez expand her own business, the Loz Feliz Tex-Mex joint HomeState.
He left the wine program in the hands of 33-year-old Maria Garcia, who instantly becomes one of the most important wine directors in the city, and one of the most influential Latina sommeliers in the country.
Garcia is an L.A. native raised in Whittier. She was set on taking her history and political science degrees from UCLA into a career in education — in fact, she was teaching at a high school in Crenshaw when her interest in wine and cocktail culture drew her back toward..
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