Mya’ Sanders is a senior research assistant in the child welfare program area. Prior to joining the Child Trends team, she received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology & Anthropology concentrated in Criminal Justice with a minor in Family & Human Services from Towson University. Throughout her undergraduate career, Mya’ pursued her long-time passion for providing support, guidance, and service to youth who are, or have previously been, impacted by the child welfare or juvenile justice systems, or both (crossover youth). During her senior year, she studied the influence of childhood maltreatment on the likelihood of young people becoming serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders to support the need for intervention programs, especially in disadvantaged communities. Mya’ also interned with The Children’s Guild as a youth life educator at a therapeutic group home in Baltimore City where she guided adolescents through a variety of experiences to promote individual growth and sustainable life skills while providing support across multiple areas of development.
In addition to the experiences of crossover youth, Mya’s research interests also include the foster care system, adoption, and the effects of childhood trauma.