Dr. Bobbi McDaniel of Valley Leaves for Doha, Qatar

16 Jul

Bobbi McDanielDr. Bobbi McDaniel, Director of the Upward Bound Program at Los Angeles Valley College, is leaving for a new position in the Middle East.  She will be embarking upon her lifelong dream to work and live abroad.  McDaniel will be training new teachers in Doha, Qatar, home to Education City, an area devoted to research and education.

McDaniel received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications at University of Nevada-Reno, a Master of Arts degree in education from Fordham University, and a Doctorate of Education degree in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.  She presented “The Politics of Knowledge and Schooling in the Global Era” at New York University’s International Education Conference in 2011.  A member of the LACCD Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), McDaniel has always demonstrated strong leadership in uplifting and empowering African Americans as well as other disenfranchised ethnic groups.  She was the president of the black student union organization at University of Nevada-Reno and had begun creating a BFSA chapter at LA Valley College.

In addition to her work at the community college level, McDaniel is the founder and director of Sister Circle, an intervention program designed for African American high school girls. The program addresses the academic, social and emotional development of young girls impacted by the social issues of attending high school in poor, urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles.   The program provides students with a safe space to meet and discuss their concerns, learn about African American traditions and heritage, and engage with motivational speakers and mentors.

The Sister Circle program was a response to a race riot that erupted on the campus at Santee High School in 2005 and provided support for Black female students at the school who wanted their voices and concerns to be heard.  McDaniel, at the time, was an integral part of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission as an Education Policy Advisor, and had been brought in to assist with resolution efforts at the school. She remembers arriving on the scene at Santee High School to find a group of African American girls confined by police to the library.

Those same girls would become the first members of the Sister Circle program.

The number of African-American students only made up less than 7 percent of the student body, forcing Santee to end the program.  However, in the fall of 2006, the principal of Thomas Jefferson High School at the time, Juan Flecha, invited McDaniel to restart the program at Jefferson High School, where it has been ever since.  For the past eight years, the Sister Circle program has continued to provide students with a safe space to discuss academic and personal issues and enable them to move closer to their life goals.

McDaniel has been a great asset to the Los Angeles Community Colleges District, and to the academic community at large.  We wish her the best.

Visit the Qatar Foundation at http://www.qf.org.qa/education for more information about the burgeoning and innovative educational communities and developments of the country.  You can also view a PBS video about Education City here.

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