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


Graduate student incorporates Spanish romance into self-composed song

Guillermo Ojeda began writing his three-minute romantic guitar solo with just seven notes.
Ojeda, a graduate student in social welfare, submitted his song “Soledad” to “7 Notes Experiment,” a global contest that encourages musicians from across the world to compose a song of any genre from a given set of seven notes. Ojeda is one of 100 finalists who were selected out of thousands of entries from across the world. The contest accepted entries until Dec. 15, and will announce its winner at an unspecified date.
Ojeda heard about the competition from a notification on his Facebook feed in the middle of his fall quarter finals at UCLA. And with just five days to submit his piece, he took on the challenge of composing a new song in under a week…
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Smithsonian Latino Center Accepting Applications for 2018 Young Ambassadors Program

The Smithsonian Latino Center is now accepting applications for the 2018 Young Ambassadors Program June 24 through Aug. 2. The application deadline April 9. The Young Ambassadors Program is a national program for graduating high school seniors that fosters the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts, sciences and humanities through an intensive training and internship program at the Smithsonian. The program receives major and continued support from Ford Motor Company Fund…
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CSUF’s Latino Communications Institute connects students to media careers

When Cal State Fullerton alum Shaira Arias was a student in a school program formerly known as the Latino Communications Initiative (LCI), she met the executive producer of the Spanish-language television network she would someday work for.
“When I saw other students introducing themselves to her at an LCI event, I thought ‘I can do that too,’ because LCI is very encouraging in that way,” Arias said of the program, which aims to build bridges between students and Spanish-bilingual media organizations.

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‘We believe in you;’ How one Oregon high school guides Latino students to graduation

Oregon Education
‘We believe in you;’ How one Oregon high school guides Latino students to graduation
Posted January 28, 2018 at 07:13 AM | Updated January 28, 2018 at 02:05 PM
139 Comment
Rich Pena Vania Torres.JPG
Beth Nakamura | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Putnam High security guard Rich Peña catches up with former student Vania Torres, now a college student studying to become a nurse. Peña, a Spanish speaking immigrant, is an important part of a schoolwide culture that works hard to say ‘I notice you,’ ‘I’m on your side’ and ‘I know you can do it.’…
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Many state flagship universities leave black and Latino students behind

any of the nation’s best public universities are enrolling disproportionately few African-American and Latino students.

Flagship universities are the jewels in the crown of public higher education systems — they have sought-after faculty, preeminent research facilities, the most resources and often the highest graduation rates, for all races. They also stand as beacons of affordable excellence for the students of their states. But when it comes to equitably serving the state’s residents, whose taxes fund these top-flight universities, many fall far short of their stated missions. Often there are big differences — defined by race — between who’s graduating from a state’s public high schools and who’s getting into its flagship universities…
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To attract more blacks and Hispanics to STEM, universities must address racial issues on campus

ROY, N.Y. — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was not Tiana Young’s first choice for college, even though Young wants to dual major in aeronautical and mechanical engineering, and the private university is one the top schools in the country for science, technology, math and engineering.
The school had one big drawback: Rensselaer’s student body is more than two-thirds white and Asian, according to federal data. For Young, who is black and whose high school in Spring Valley, New York was almost entirely African-American and Hispanic, “the lack of diversity was a very big concern,” says the freshman…

Colleges Scramble to Help Undocumented Students as Hopes for a DACA Deal Fade

On Wednesday afternoon, after House Democrats met with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, the spirit in Washington was one of stalemate. There was little progress toward a bipartisan deal to protect the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which prevents the deportation of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, in exchange for Democrats’ votes to prevent a government shutdown by January 19.
But across the country in Sacramento, at a press conference held by University of California system president Janet Napolitano, the mood was one of urgency. Flanked by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and two other UC system officials, she urged the system’s 4,000 undocumented students to hurry to take advantage of the recent court ruling that reinstated DACA renewals after the Trump administration ended them last fall—a ruling the Trump administration has already asked the Supreme Court to review. The University of California is waging its own court battle to protect DACA: In September, Napolitano—who carried out the initial implementation of DACA as President Barack Obama’s homeland security secretary—filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration after the administration announced the program’s repeal…
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Report examines Latino student success rates

The author of a new report that analyzes success rates of Latino students stresses that there is no “magic bullet” for colleges and universities to use to improve their own metrics, and what works at one school may not be applicable for all. However, institutions that prioritize equity and make efforts to measure their progress usually yield positive results…
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El Pasoans complete grueling Stanford program

A new entrepreneurial program at Stanford University focused on developing Latino businesses has graduated 12 business owners from El Paso since it was launched two years ago.And on Saturday, Dec. 2, four Latino El Pasoans joined a growing list of business owners who have graduated from the Latino Business Action Network, which is part of the Stanford Graduate School of Business in CaliforniaThere are now 12 El Paso CEOs who have graduated from the program and are part of a network of more than 360 Latino executives around the country…

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Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago

Even after decades of affirmative action, black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities than they were 35 years ago, according to a New York Times analysis.
The share of black freshmen at elite schools is virtually unchanged since 1980. Black students are just 6 percent of freshmen but 15 percent of college-age Americans, as the chart below shows…
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“…And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while…”

T.S. Eliot
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Press Release

2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals Now Available

The 2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals is now available on

News from the 2015 American Community Service shows good increases in the numbers of Mexican Americans attending college, achieving educational attainment, and holding jobs in industries including science, management, and business.

• Mexican American college enrollment increased from 18.7% to 18.9% between 2014 and 2015
• Graduate or professional degree attainment among Mexican Americans rose from 2.9% to 3.0%
• The number of Mexican Americans achieving bachelor’s degrees rose from 7.6% to 7.8% in 2015

Despite these numbers, Mexican Americans are still near the bottom of college enrollment and educational attainment by race and ethnicity.

The University of California is proactive in pushing for a greater number of underrepresented minorities. The number Chicano/Latino students attending UOC increased by 2.7% since 2014; this group now makes up 32.3% of admitted university freshmen.

In terms of occupations, the number of Mexican Americans making up part of the management, business, science, and art occupations continues to rise, from 16.6% to 17.5% from 2012 to 2015. Mexican Americans have also seen consistent numbers in the professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services occupations, keeping steady at 10.2% of all jobs in these fields held by Mexican Americans.

These numbers represent continuing gains in higher education and professional jobs for Mexican Americans. For more, visit