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

Look to Latinos to drive US economic growth

The one thing President Trump, Democrats, the chattering class and, most importantly, the American public can agree upon is the need for higher U.S. economic growth. An analysis from June 28, Latino GDP Report, highlights the Latino contribution to the U.S. economy. It provides helpful insight to our country’s challenge of creating greater economic growth.
President Trump promises annual GDP growth of 3 percent, the average rate after World War II. Until recently, we had averaged 2.3 percent. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today projects, absent fundamental changes in economic policy, GDP growth of 1.8 percent in the foreseeable future. Why the recent slowdown in economic growth and the pessimistic CBO forecast?…
Link to article

Latino Food Industry Association launches

LOS ANGELES — The Latino Food Industry Association (LFIA) announced its official launch to serve its members and educate the public and policy makers on the contributions and significant impact made buy Latino-owned food businesses on the US economy.
“Given the Hispanic market’s $1.5 trillion in annual buying power and the rapid growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in the food and beverage segment, many of our members felt it was time to launch the LFIA to maximize our position in the industry,” said Ruben Smith, LFIA chairman. “Our members include grocery chains…
Link to article

VIDEO: 5 Oakland police officers of Mexican heritage recognized for outstanding service in the community

OAKLAND (KRON) — Five police officers of Mexican heritage were recognized Thursday for their outstanding service in the community.
The ceremony took place at the consulate general office of Mexico in San Francisco.
The five officers were chosen by their peers in the Oakland Police Department.
The consulate general says this is the first time Mexican officers from the Bay Area received honorary recognition from his office…
Link to video

Cal State to no longer mandate remedial classes and placement exams

In an executive order, State Chancellor Timothy P. White, directed Cal State to get rid of the requirement that students complete noncredit remedial classes to help prepare them for college courses — a decision which could affect about 25,000 students. The schools will also discontinue Math and English placement exams.
The policy change, which will go into effect in the fall of 2018, comes after Cal State had pledged to more than double its four-year graduation rate to 40% by 2025. According to the Los Angeles Times, it also arrives after many have begun questioning how helpful remedial classes really are, with concern that the noncredit courses which must be completed in a student’s first year may spur many students to drop out…
Link to article

Webster University targets drop-outs for re-enrollment

According to 2015 data reported in Forbes, 22% of Americans have attended some college without reaching graduation.
The reasons students may drop out of college or discontinue taking classes are greatly varied, but nearly half of prospective college students are concerned they may have to drop out at some point in their academic careers.
Michael Cottam, the associate vice president for academic affairs and the director of the Online Learning Center at Webster University, said many of the students who have discontinued classes and degree programs at his institution face the crush of numerous personal and professional responsibilities. But now, it is these students Webster is targeting for re-enrollment, hoping to move the number of individuals with a degree forward…
Link to article

Tony Ortega paints the Chicano experience in Denver

HIGHLAND — “My purpose is to preserve Mexican-Americans’ cultural identity, while walking alongside the dominant culture,” says Tony Ortega, a Northwest Denver artist and associate professor at Regis University.
In La Marcha de Ernesto Che Lincoln, the face of Che Guevara is superimposed over the Lincoln memorial. Ortega pulls images from both cultures to make social statements.
Ortega’s art juxtaposes the two cultures in sometimes humorous ways. “I mix American pop culture with Mexican pop culture, like putting Chicano leaders on Mt. Rushmore and Our Lady of Guadalupe as the Statue of Liberty. My Mickey Mouse is a Day of the Dead character and Captain America is Capitano Americano, who fights for dreamers. The images are pulled from both cultures, overlapped and juxtaposed. They are silly but they are also social statements.”…
Link to article

Aspen Ideas Festival: Being Latino in America today

There are 55 million Hispanics in the United States, and demographers expect Latinos will account for half of America’s population growth, and a substantial amount of economic growth as well.
Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros says Latinos are the biggest story in the whole multicultural evolution of the United States — despite their exclusion from most history books, which tend to look only at white and black issues.
“Over the last 50 years we have made immense progress,” Cisneros said during a panel discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival, June 29, 2017. “(People) understand our economic contribution, that mainstream economics idea. This country’s future workforce, its health of its social security system, its entrepreneurial new business formations is all about the role Latinos are going to play.”…
Link to article

Number of minorities, women taking CS is skyrocketing thanks to STEM collaborations


  • Following implementation of a new type of computer science option last fall — AP Computer Science Principles, which puts real-world perspectives on coding — data from 2016 to 2017 shows the number of minorities taking a computer science exam in some form nearly tripled to 22,199, up from 8,283, while the number of girls taking it rose from 12,642 to 29,708. 
  • AP CSP was born out of a collaboration between the National Science Foundation, College Board and, along with other authorized providers, who are rolling out the course and training teachers to facilitate it, reports NPR — and over half of the schools teaching the course are using curriculum from, which trained 500 teachers last year…

Link to article


Mexican American Proarchive: Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals

News from the census American Community Survey is generally good for the 2015 year. Mexican American college enrollment was up from 18.7% to 18.9% in the 2014 and 2015 years. Graduate or professional degree attainment was also up from 2.9% to 3.0%. The number of bachelor’s degrees granted to Mexican American students rose from 7.6% in 2014 to 7.8% in 2015.

  2012 2013 2014 2015
  Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans
College Enrollment 28.80% 18.20% 28.30% 18.10% 28.00% 18.70% 27.80% 18.90%


  2012 2013 2014 2015
  Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans
Graduate or Professional Degree 10.90% 2.90% 11.20% 2.80% 11.40% 2.90% 11.60% 3.00%
Bachelor’s Degree 18.20% 7.00% 18.40% 7.30% 18.70% 7.60% 19.00% 7.80%
Associate’s Degree 29.20% 21.90% 29.20% 21.80% 29.10% 22.20% 29.00% 22.10%

In spite of these gains, Mexican Americans still remain at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to earning a bachelor’s degree. Even after broadening the group to Latinos or Hispanics, this group still lags behind. According to the Pew Hispanic Center: “As of 2014, among Hispanics ages 25 to 29, just 15% of Hispanics have a bachelor’s degree or higher. By comparison, among the same age group, about 41% of whites have a bachelor’s degree or higher (as do 22% of blacks and 63% of Asians).” Pew reports that the main reasons for this low graduation rate is that Hispanics are less likely “to enroll in a four-year college, attend an academically selective college and enroll full-time.”


Also in the good news column, the University of California will continue to push for a greater number of underrepresented minorities; namely, Chicano/Latino students whose resident freshmen numbers rose from 2.7% to 32.3% of admitted California freshmen. In other good news, the proportion of Chicano/Latino students transferring from community colleges increased to 29.3% from 26.8% for 2015.

  Prior to 2015 2015
Chicano/Latino of admitted California Freshmen 2.70% 32.30%
Chicano/Latino transferring from Community Colleges 26.80% 29.30%

Occupations, including those in management, business, science, and art, fared better for Mexican Americans. The number of Mexican Americans filling these occupations rose from 17.4% in 2014 to 17.5% in 2015.

  2012 2013 2014 2015
  Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans
Management, Business, Science, & Art Occupations 36.10% 16.60% 36.30% 16.70% 36.90% 17.40% 37.10% 17.50%

The total number of Hispanics filling these occupations was 16.1% in 2015, a bit lower than Mexican Americans specifically.

Percentage of industry employment that is of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 2014 annual averages

Industry sector Percent
Construction 27.3%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 23.1
Leisure and hospitality 22.3
Other services 19.0
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 18.6
Transportation and utilities 17.2
Wholesale and retail trade 16.4
Total, all industries 16.1
Professional and business services 16.0
Manufacturing 15.8
Education and health services 11.5
Public administration 11.4
Financial activities 11.3

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The report shows that industrial employment for Mexican Americans remained the same for 2014 and 2015 at 10.2%.

  2012-15 INDUSTRY
  2012 2013 2014 2015
  Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans Total Population Mexican Americans
Professional, Scientific, Management, Administrative, & Waste Management Services, Occupations 10.90% 10.20% 11.10% 10.20% 11.40% 10.20% 11.30% 10.20%

The figures for Hispanic or Latino employment for 2015 and 2016 show a healthy increase.

According to the Pew Hispanic center, “Construction, professional and business services, health services, financial services and food services…showed healthy gains.” Most of the jobs gained by native-born Hispanic workers were in manufacturing, mostly durable goods (82,000 Hispanic workers in this industry), followed by wholesale and retail trade (79,000), publishing, broadcasting, communication and information services (55,000), and construction (54,000).

Foreign-born Hispanics had the most job gains in construction (417,000), followed by business and professional services (179,000). Together, those two industries accounted for almost three-quarters (74%) of all jobs gained by foreign-born Latinos between 2005 and 2006.

The business and professional services sector, which ranges from management and technical services to janitorial, landscaping, and waste management services, is also a key employer for non-Hispanic workers. Of the total increase in employment in 2005-06, non-Hispanic workers accounted for 410,000 employees in the industry, native-born workers 327,000, and foreign-born workers 83,000.



Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the United States 2015

Pew Research Center

University of California

Bureau of Labor Statistics


Photo Collections


Selected photos England and Belgium, 2016


Selected photos Filoli Gardens, Spring 2017, Spain, England, and Belgium

You may purchase any photo from the Photos Collections for $.99 each. Please email with your order request.


“…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