A recognized disability advocate and civil justice activist, Dr. Sandra Copman has been serving as a coordinator for the Boston Special Education Transition for Career Network (B-SET) with the Massachusetts Advocates for Children since February 2019. In her position, she provides oversight of B-SET’s network to expand access to post-secondary education and career opportunities for youth and young adults with disabilities throughout the Boston area. Alongside this endeavor, she has also been a senior lecturer at Cambridge College since 2015, associate lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Boston since 2016, and nonprofit management and education development consultant since 2002. At the inception of her career in 1979, she was an art therapist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center before serving as a crisis intervention counselor and art therapist at the Place Runaway House, Inc. Progressing forward, she was a counselor at Beaverbrook STEP, Inc., and a special education teacher at the Boston Public Schools, as well as a respite care provider with Toward Independent Living and Learning, Inc., until 1994.
Continuing with the Boston Public Schools, Dr. Copman subsequently served as a program developer, development director and transition specialist until 2008, when she relocated to the Urban College of Boston as an interim academic dean and director of special projects. From 2010 to 2014, she served as a strategic development officer at Triangle, Inc., and from 2017 to 2018, she was a major gifts officer at the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Prior to taking on her current role, she served as the director of institutional advancement at the Boston Day and Evening Academy for one year.
Dr. Copman’s extensive career has included working with urban youth and their families across the globe, including in underdeveloped countries. Providing support for individuals with disabilities and complex behavioral health issues – including youth with trauma, veterans, immigrants and refugees, and survivors of war and natural disasters – she has deeply involved herself in disability policy and advocacy efforts, citing her own development of a comprehensive transition program. As a testament to her success, Dr. Copman was honored with the Outstanding Young American Award from the University of Kentucky in 1997. In recognition of her efforts in civil service, disability advocacy and education, she was also highlighted in the 21st edition of Who’s Who of American Women in 1998.
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