About the Sanford Center
The Sanford Center serves the community through several programs and services in support of its mission to build character in youth. Having the community center and these services in place make outreach efforts more successful.
When it comes to building community at the Sanford Center, Executive Director Fitz Grant believes it starts with finding those individuals who are in need. “It’s running up to them and saying listen, I know you have a need, and I will be there for you. I will help you push through, and help you become that somebody I know you can become. That’s what we want to do at this agency. Make people believe they can do anything they want to. We do that by spending time with them and building them up. One person at a time, one conversation at a time, one visit at a time, we build them up.”
The Sanford Center is an agency comprised of a well-trained staff who are passionate about building relationships and leaving a fingerprint on the lives of kids and their families. We provide services and continue to develop new and existing community partnerships in order to meet the needs of those we serve.
At the Sanford Center, we strive to offer services and programs that build character in children and youth. We also assist families with community issues and challenges they face. We believe the foundation for character building is practicing and modeling the common good. We do this by becoming personally involved in the lives of children and their families. We serve them as if they were members of our family.
Building communities since 1933.
In 1968, Mrs. Elzona Trosper was able to hire a program director, George Boykin, who became the second executive director in 1972. Over the next 20 years, the mission of the Sanford Center has become more focused on youth and their families.
In March 1992, the Sanford Center was called by the superintendent of the Sioux City School District for a meeting with the chief juvenile court officer and the principal of Woodrow Wilson Middle School. The superintendent discussed the neighborhood crisis surrounding Woodrow Wilson and asked if the Sanford Center could help get the neighborhood under control.
In April 1992, the Sanford Center hired Fitzgerald Grant, George Youi Sayavong and Joe Vidalis, who became the first outreach workers at Woodrow Wilson. These three put their lives on the line that first year, and by the end of that academic year, they had stopped many serious offenses from occurring in the school.
Over the last several years, the Sanford Center has progressed greatly. Today, the center is known for programs that seek to halt the growth of gangs in the city, and runs after-school and summer programs. On July 1, 2016, George Boykin retired from his Executive Director position after many years and passed the torch on to Grant.