Sandra Siegel

Sandra Siegel is an interior designer. She was born on March 27, 1970 in El Paso, Texas and moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1977. Currently, she lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Potential Interview Clip *2:24-2:52*

Sandra Siegel spent a few years of her early life in El Paso, Texas, before moving to Mesa, Arizona, here she spent the majority of her childhood. Growing up, she had 2 older siblings (brother & sister) and one younger sister. Her mom, Alicia Cardenas, was a full-time mom while her dad, Raul Cardenas was the founder of South Mountain Community College (SMCC) and president of Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC). Sandra remembers her childhood as amazing, exciting, and eventful. 

Sandra then shares that the Cardenas siblings grew up in pairs: due to the age gap the first pair were the two oldest, and the second pair was the youngest. Sandra and her sister Celi were the youngest pair. Despite the age difference, they grew up through everything together—whether it was having fun, exploring, having their ups and downs—they stuck through it all. 

Sandra was a cheerleader, very smart, outgoing, and hard-working. Her family was very close and they always had summer family trips each year. Sandra began her education in Texas as a kindergarten student, then moved to Walnut, California, where she attended first and second grade, and then to Mesa, Arizona, where she attended Rhodes Junior High School and Dobbins High School where she graduated in 1988. After graduating high school in 1988, she enrolled at SMCC where she completed her freshman year, then transferred to the University of Arizona and graduated from University of Arizona in Tucson with a B.A. in Communication. She described her college experience as being fun and memorable, and one where she learned more about herself. 

Later, she got married in Phoenix, Arizona on June 3, 1994, her husband’s name is Tim and works as a Vice President of Sales for a Natural Foods Company. They have 2 children together (two boys). Sandra Siegel is a hard-working woman, learning from her parents, she looked up to her father the most because of the way he worked and also her mom because she was a brave and strong woman who never gave up. 

Potential Interview Clips: *Childhood 3:23-8:50; School 10:28-11:16; College Experience 11:20-11:25; stops and continues in 15:10-16:20.*

Sandra Siegel was introduced to SMCC and South Phoenix by her father Rául Cárdenas, the founder of SMCC. Raul began his career to help people receive the education they deserved. Raul always had meetings or events, almost every week, and they had to drive over to South Phoenix since they lived in Mesa. Though she grew up a few miles away, Sandra nonetheless

saw South Phoenix as her home because she visited South Phoenix very often. She would attend graduations and campus activities with her father. Over the years she also had the privilege to see South Phoenix develop into what it is today. The campus started with trailer classrooms and classes taking place in the church right down the street, and now Sandra marvels at the beautiful campus designed by her father’s vision and hope. 

*Possible Interview Clip19:43-20:50*

Sandra overcame several obstacles on her way to becoming a college student. Her academics were not what she would consider her best prior to attending college, but as she began taking classes, she realized that even though she had struggled with science and math in High School, she was able to do it in College. This was a big deal for her because she had never believed in herself before, and after discovering she was capable of doing such things, she gained more confidence and began to face her fear of trying new things. 

*Potential Interview Clip 15:10 – 16:20*

Sandra is a dedicated woman who grew up with an inspiring father. Sandra, like her father, continues to advocate for college students by listening to them, assisting them in achieving their goals, assisting them in succeeding, and encouraging them to be the best they can be. Sandra says, “How do we get better? How do we get bigger? How do we do it? What kind of problem? What kind of student are we missing out on?” 

*Potential Interview Clip 33:33 – 33:40*

Sandra is a compassionate person who wants the best for everyone and wants to see them flourish one step at a time. She wishes for everyone to follow their dreams and aspirations and never give up, no matter how bleak things appear to be. 

NarratorSandra Siegel
BirthdateMarch 27, 1970
Place of OriginEl Paso, TX
Place of ResidenceScottsdale, AZ
Years Active in South Phoenix
OccupationInterior Designer
Recording Duration1:00:25
DateMarch 3, 2022
LocationSouth Mountain Community Library
Interviewed ByDulce Sotelo & Evelyn Ayala
Story Written ByDulce Sotelo & Evelyn Ayala

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s