White House Author
National Director of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors
Sandra Gutierrez is the National Program Director of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors (AP/OD), the nation’s first, evidence-based comprehensive training program for Latino parents with children aged birth-5. Ms. Gutierrez led the development of the AP/OD program and curriculum, which is designed with parent input and uses the “popular education” approach to engage parents in lessons that authentically reflect their culture, communities and experiences. Since its launch in Los Angeles in 2007, AP/OD has trained over 1,000 facilitators in more than 400 family-serving organizations and has provided its curriculum to over 30,000 families in 256 cities across the country. Results from a 2012 independent evaluation demonstrate that participants make significant gains in parenting skills and knowledge, and become advocates for their children and families. Prior to joining Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, Ms. Gutierrez’s expansive career included founding the first service organization to assist Central American refugees, developing health education programs for agricultural workers, leading campaigns to promote preschool in the Latino community, and serving as State Commissioner for First 5 California.