Sandi is passionate about the power of access and mentorship to transform lives and is grateful for the opportunity to work in this space every day. As the Executive Director of Friends of the Children - Utah, she works with her team and the community to develop strategic direction around partnership, development, growth and impact of the program. As a first-generation college student, Sandi earned a BA in Dance, an MPA, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration. Prior to being selected as Friends—Utah’s Executive Director, Pershing worked as the Vice President of University Relations for the National College Advising Corps, and was the Assistant Vice President for Engagement, and Dean of Continuing Education at the University of Utah. In these roles, Sandi and her teams worked with community partners across the state of Utah and the U.S. to build and support programs, partnerships, and pipelines to and through higher education for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students. Sandi teaches in the MPA program at the University of Utah and is a Past National President for the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. In her spare time, she loves to travel, dance, and spend time with her family.