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DeQuanda Sanders a Homegrown Advocate

DeQuanda Sanders, is a homegrown advocate who influences change. Sanders is a native of Walterboro SC and a 1993 graduate of Walterboro High School where she was active in school and her community. Sanders was a member of the Walterboro High School chorus, Volleyball team, JV and Varsity basketball team, student government, Dogs Against Drugs, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Youth Program and a Walterboro High School Youth State Representative. Following high school Sanders attended Claflin University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry. After graduating college, she relocated to Atlanta Georgia where she worked in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. “It has always been a passion of mine to be active and make a difference in my community,” said Sanders. “After working in the medical field for several years and interacting with community leaders my passion to make a difference and influence change grew stronger,” said Sanders.
In 2009 Sanders founded Saving Our Children and Families (SOCAF), Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to providing awareness, prevention and intervention initiatives to communities through educational training; train the trainer workshops, fundraising activities and treatment services for children that have been sexually abused. Sanders is a survivor of child sexual abuse and knows first-hand the impact such abuse can have on a child’s emotions, self-esteem and hope for the future. “Because of positive influences I had in my life I was able to overcome the emotional pain and grow in all areas of my life,” said Sanders. SOCAF contributes to the nurturing of children through open-forums, one-on-one counseling, referrals to services, mentoring for victims of childhood sexual abuse and provide college scholarships for survivors. “I believe that we can break the cycle of child sexual abuse by empowering our youths to speak-up and not have their voice silenced,” said Sanders. “It is also important to educate adults to learn the facts, minimize opportunity, talk about it, recognize the signs and react responsibly,” said Sanders.
Sanders advocates for women and children issues on the local, state and national level. She served on Holly Hill Association Board facilitating Community Youth Programs, volunteered with A-Dopt-A Student Mentor program and has trained over 1000 adults in the efforts to eradicate child sexual abuse. As a skilled community advocate and trainer Sanders has taken the lead on many prevention initiatives. She organized a grassroots community initiative called Prevent Now in DeKalb County to bring awareness on “How to protect children from child sexual abuse”. Sanders has spoken on several platform panels sharing her knowledge of Child Sexual Abuse and Human Trafficking. She was a panelist for the State Bar of Georgia on “Adults Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse” and recently returned home to Walterboro to facilitate and moderate the Stop Human Trafficking Community Forum sponsored by the Walterboro Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Sanders is a collaborative member of the Community Partnership for Protecting Children (CPPC) and the Executive Director for DeKalb Initiative for Children and Families. “Influencing change in my community means more than just sitting on a panel or community board, it means getting involved and actively doing the work to help victims become Survivors and Thrivers,” said Sanders. Sanders hard work has not gone unnoticed. She is the recipient of the 2014 Women of Feelings Humanitarian Award, the 2016 Unsung Heroine Award from the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter 100 Black Women, and most recently the 2018 BOLD Lifestyles Advocacy Award for the outstanding contributes and sustainable impact she has made in her community. “We celebrate BOLD leaders who have inspired us to live FEARLESSLY, and DeQuanda is a true example of a Bold Leader,” said Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Founder & CEO of Bold Favor Media Group LLC.
In addition to serving her community as an advocate, Sanders is a Healthcare Community Relations Specialist and Program Coordinator for an International Educational Youth Program in Atlanta Georgia. She is a member of the Walterboro Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Claflin University Atlanta Alumni Chapter.

Cokeitha Gaddist (67 Posts)