Sonya Heisters is the Senior Director of the The Children’s Movement (TCM) where she provides the strategic leadership and day-to-day management of TCM. Ms. Heisters has 20 years of experience in nonprofit and education management and is passionate about aligning people, purpose, and process, to improve the lives of children and youth.
Prior to joining Children Now, Ms. Heisters served for nearly nine years at the Center for Effective Philanthropy, where her most recent role was as Deputy Director of the organization’s education technology arm, YouthTruth. As Deputy, she was responsible for leading all external-facing teams – partnerships, communications, media relations, and advisory services – as well as advising on product development. Under her leadership, the student voice initiative grew from a pilot in 25 schools to a national organization serving over 2,500 schools across 39 states and 5 countries and elevating the voices of over 2 million students.
At Children Now, Ms. Heisters leads efforts to unite and activate the thousands of organizations across California who care about kids and want children’s needs prioritized in public policy. As part of this work, she oversees TCM’s Equity Fellows Program that provides hands-on training in grassroots organizing and anti-racist practices for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in pursuing public policy and systems change.
Ms. Heisters writes on issues related to education and equity for publications such as Education Week, Education Post, and the 74 Million, and speaks at annual conferences for such organizations as the California School Boards Association (CSBA), Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), California School Public Relations Association (CalSPRA), and the New Teacher Center (NTC).
She holds a B.A. in literature with a focus on secondary education and concentration in nonprofit management from Lesley University and holds a Certificate of Executive Leadership from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Ms. Heisters lives with her husband and two children in the Bay Area.