As a Commissioner of the Southeast Community Facility, Amerika Sanchez helps make critical decisions on behalf of her community. Commissioner Sanchez is a proud resident of the Bayview and loves giving back to her community. She also serves as the Principal for Five Keys Charter Schools and Programs, an anchor tenant in the Southeast Community Center.
Commissioner Sanchez advocates for her students and their families to learn more about the career options available in the utilities industry. “Even as an adult, you can go back to school or receive specialized training to start a new career path. Many careers in the utilities industry allow for transferable skills; in addition, there are also local organizations that target workforce development in the utilities industry,” she said. “It is never too late to learn and reinvent yourself!”
She goes on to explain the importance of exposing her students to career paths in the utilities industry. “The utilities industry addresses many societal issues and needs. As an educator, I find that young students naturally ask a lot of utilities-related questions, such as: ‘How does electricity get into my home?’ or ‘How much rain is needed to end a drought?’ Behind these kinds of questions, are experts who can provide answers.”
Her quest for authentic learning experiences for her students has led her to various educational experiences outside of the classroom. She has participated in teacher study tours outside of the United States, served on Western Association of Schools and Colleges visiting committees, and has held membership with multiple professional organizations for educators. “The more I travel and interact with Black people from different countries, I realize that we have a lot in common and can collectively contribute to the greater Black community, here in the United States, and abroad. There are so many opportunities for social, political and economic advancement, if we can continue to embrace a collective ‘WE’ mentality.”
When asked what Black History Month means to her, she said that it serves as a reminder of how Black Americans carved a space in every aspect of American society. “This month celebrates the milestones of exceptional individuals who were founders, creators and trailblazers of every field possible,” she said. “Black History also honors the experiences of everyday Black Americans, who navigated through many challenges, and still managed to find community, success and joy, despite those obstacles.”