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Sandra Harrison

Social Impact Entrepreneur

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Sandra Harrison, founded and is CEO of DVA Leadership and Development Training Consultants. DVA works with organizations to build capacity in staff working with vulnerable populations. Sandra is an award-winning, master-level trainer proficient in audience engagement drawing out the best in her participants.

She and her husband of 35+ years are a classroom dynamic duo. Together they turn any learning atmosphere into a playground where the toughest subject matters are discussed with respect and inclusion.

Harrison, also co-founded LITE Leaders, an Aurora- based nonprofit creating pathways to excellence for youth disconnected from school and/or work. She is an active Roosevelt University alumni. Sandra calls Aurora, IL home where she serves on several multiple boards and commissions.

Professional History

June 2009- Present

DVA Training Consultants

August 2015- Present

Leaders In Transformational Education

August 2011- 2015

Youth Outreach Services - Chicago, IL


Healthcare Alternative Systems

Founder / CEO | Training Consultant

Entrepreneur who grew business from startup to expert delivery of Training & Development with instructional design capabilities. Recognized by clients and colleagues as a consummate professional with high degree of professional integrity. Serves as professional learning trainer and development consultant working with youth and adults who work with youth.


  • Designing training programs for improving the productivity of an organization’s employees and/or participants.

  • Delivery of trainings aligned with organizational initiatives related to staff development, talent management, on-boarding, compliance, site inspections, accreditation, environmental change and grant requirements.

  • Design and delivery of relevant soft skills learning programs for youth to support social and civic leadership.

  • Conducting assessment processes that drive training initiatives to promote greater outcomes and ROI 

  • Demonstrated effectiveness of utilization of training materials with a variety of media, gaming and learning theories.

  • Conducting comprehensive assessments. 

  • Demonstrated expertise for providing human resources support to new and growing agencies by offering comprehensive in-house training. Delivery of on-site training and meeting facilitation

Co-Owner / Chief Training Officer

Director of training and community development with community engagement responsibilities. Responsible for the planning and execution of LITE training and education programs across the organization and for community workforce and education partners.


  • Role manages the oversight of assessments, design, delivery and measurement of training programs across the company.

  • Collaborates with community leadership and key stakeholders to identify training and development solutions to support the needs of the organization.

  • CFO drives the standardized learning, in alignment with organizational objectives, in order to sustain consistent outcomes.

  • Works to monitor and measure the effectiveness and delivery of leading edge blended learning solutions.

  • Works with the CEO on organization development and funding.

Director of Prevention Services

Director of program operations and budgets for Prevention and Juvenile Justice departments.

  • Supervising the organization’s strategic vision and key objectives while managing results-focused programs.

  • Development of strategies to increase revenue and maximize departmental efficiencies.

  • Responsible for the development and supervision of prevention-based services for at-risk youth in Proviso township.

  • Supervision of substance abuse prevention, school-based programs, serving Chicago and Chicago’s west suburbs.

  • Management of Cook County Recidivism Reduction program for justice involved youth in conjunction with the county.

  • Organizer of 200+ justice-involved youth for Chicago’s Summer Jobs programs with a 92% completion rate.

  • Director of teen pregnancy prevention program, serving three high schools aimed at reducing teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease/infections and HIV/AIDS among high school adolescents.

  • Director of operations for Cure Violence program: Ceasefire Austin and Ceasefire Maywood - the campaign to reduce gun violence.

  • Management of workforce education instruction for youth and youth workers. Providing supervision of evidence-based, state approved training with fidelity checks for prevention and juvenile justice program staff. Providing department staff development and coaching in support of performance goals.

  • Agency-wide subject matter expert and training facilitator:

    • Prevention BASICS

    • Positive Youth Development

    • Child Welfare: Managing Aggressive Behaviors

    • Leadership and Coaching

    • De-escalation

Director of Programs

Prevention department leader supporting the organization’s values, mission and strategic goals. Collaborator on the organization’s policies and procedures update. Oversight of a high performance management team facilitating violence prevention, substance abuse and women’s domestic-violence prevention-based programs across multiple sites. Supervised departmental quality assurance and utilization process. Supervised contractual compliance and grant requirements. Supervision of behavioral health skills training and education for cross-sector community stakeholders.

  • Managed aspects of project planning and support of external special teams including the Department of
    Human Services’ Strategic Prev
    ention Framework.

  • Devised and implemented key strategies to generate resources and increase departmental revenue.

  • Managed department’s development and fundraising activities including the coordination of a $10,000
    computer lab project for inner city youth.

  • Spearheaded the implementation of staff professional development services through the Microsoft Office
    certificate program.


Youth Outreach Services-

Melrose Park, IL

Program Manager

Executed and supervised the organization’s strategic vision, key objectives, and managed results-focused program staff across multiple sites. Enhanced departmental on-boarding development system of support for new staff, interns, and volunteers. Supervised a $500,000 budget for prevention-based school programs. Designed and implemented an internal mentoring program with 32 volunteer mentors.

  • Instituted a fee-for-service system and a donations program, which significantly increased program revenue
    during budget cuts.

  • Developed and implemented a strategic plan to increase departmental revenue objectives by maximizing
    efficiencies in staffing, supplies, and service delivery across numerous geographic teams and programs.

  • Wrote grants that successfully secured funding totaling prevention based $187,000 and increased revenue
    through community-based projects.

  • Collaborated with the Village of Bellwood, state senator, and the Illinois Department of Employment to create a Youth Jobs to Work program for ages 16-21. Successfully putting 500+ youth to work in 2004 and received the Illinois Governors Award.

  • Coordinated the annual seven-day, multi-state college tour for high school youth including six historical black

Educational History

Graduated 2010

Roosevelt University

Graduated May 2007

Northeastern Illinois University

Master of Arts Degree
Training and Development

Bachelor of Arts Degree
Business Administration

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