Executive Director, Girls Club of Los Angeles
As Executive Director, Gloria oversees an array of programs exemplifying the Girls Club of Los Angeles (GCLA) mission, “To enrich the lives of underserved, at-promise children, youth, and families through early education, youth development, and community outreach, contributing to self-sufficient, productive individuals in South Los Angeles.”
Gloria is an active community leader with a long tradition of serving as an advocate and community change agent. Gloria has a passion for early childhood education, youth development, career and college pathways, and community resources connections. For example, before and since the COVID pandemic, she ensured that families of South Los Angeles had weekly food distributions, including unhoused students at Los Angeles Southwest College. Gloria is the Vice President of Membership California Association Education of Young Children (CAAEYC) and serves as President Southern California Chapter, California Association Education of Young Children (SCC-CAAEYC).
During the turbulent social and political Civic Rights Movement, she came of age in Alabama. She can recall her great grandparents marching along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her small town was one of the first counties in Alabama to elect African Americans as Probate Judge, Sheriff, and Commissioners.
Gloria received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Talladega College (HBCU). Gloria then relocated to Los Angeles, California, with her one-year-old daughter, Keisha, and began working as a mental health educator at the Kedren Mental Health Center. Before becoming the Executive Director of the Girls Club of Los Angeles, Gloria served as the Director of a private daycare center and elementary school in South Los Angeles.
Gloria returned to school to earn her master’s in counseling psychology from National University, graduating with honors. Gloria holds a certificate in Operational and Financial Management from United Way Kellogg Training Center and the Management Development of Early Childhood Educators (MDECE) Program from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California. Additionally, she completed coursework in Early Childhood Development at UCLA.
Since 2004, Gloria has led four successful National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation projects with GCLA. She-authored Project LEAYD (Leaders in Enrichment of Adolescent and Youth Development), a youth development initiative that promotes positive, healthy lifestyles and encourages responsible decision-making under the ideology that “Education is crucial for a brighter future.” Gloria led GCLA’s Quality Rating Improving System (QRIS) under Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA), receiving a Tier-5 rating on a scale of 1-5, with five being the highest.
Gloria is a mentor with the California Early Childhood Mentoring Program at Southwest College, West Los Angeles College, and Trade Technical College. Gloria planned and facilitated the Director Seminar Meeting with 40-50 local early childhood center directors and owners of family childcare homes for over 20 years.
COMMUNITY AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
• Inaugural member of American Providers Network, Crystal Stairs
• Member, Community Response System of South Los Angeles (CRSSLA)
• Member, National Association for the Education of Young Children
• Chaired, 25th Anniversary Empowerment Congress Summit, Co-Chaired Education Committee, and served on Leadership Council
• Leader with Adult Ministries and Audio-Visual Team Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena
• Chair, Advisory Board of Pepperdine University Foster Grandparents Program.
• Co-Founder of Early Learning Alliance
HONORS AND AWARDS
• COVID Leadership Award | Community Response System of South Los Angeles (CRSSLA) 2021
• Civic Engagement | The People of Change Award 2019
• Founder’s Award | The Jeffrey Foundation 2018
• Certificate of Congratulations Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Empowerment Congress
• City Scholars Leadership Academy 2012 Achievement Award
• Certificate of Special Recognition Maxine Waters, US House Representative 8th Annual “Choosing a Healthy Mind & Body Teen Resource Washington Preparatory High School Fair
• Los Angeles Teen Shop, Inc. “Woman of Distinction.”
• Los Angeles County Commission on Women and Supervisors “Woman of the Year” 2nd District
• Steve Harvey Morning Show and 100.3 The Beat 3rd Hoodie Awards, Nominee for the Best Community Leader