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. 

Read some of our inspiring stories here. 

History