Sanaria became Executive Director of Vision for Children at Risk effective January 1, 2018, succeeding Richard Patton who retired after 25 years with the agency. She joined Vision for Children at Risk in 2013 as director of Project LAUNCH, a federally funded program to improve young child wellness in the 63106 and 63107 ZIP codes of north St. Louis. Previously, she served for over five years with Child Care Aware of Missouri, most recently as director of training and inclusion services. She has been in the early childhood field for 15 years, and has 10 years of statewide and regional management experience in the area of social and emotional well‐being of children, families and communities, training and educating service providers, with focus on inclusive practices. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is working toward a master’s in business from Webster University.
Ruth Ehresman, MSW
Advocacy Coordinator and St. Louis Child Abuse & Neglect Network Coordinator
Ruth provides staff coordination for the St. Louis Child Abuse & Neglect Network. She also leads VCR advocacy efforts, and serves on the board of the statewide legislative advocacy group Kids Win Missouri, which she and retired VCR Executive Director Rich Patton helped found as the Missouri Children’s Leadership Council. A Vision for Children at Risk staff member since 2013, Ruth has spent the last 15-plus years advocating in the public interest for policies in Jefferson City. She was the policy director of Citizens for Missouri’s Children for 11 years and the director of health and budget policy at the Missouri Budget Project for six years. Ruth has participated in the development of public policy at the state level on issues relating to the budget and revenue, health care, welfare reform, child welfare, nutrition, livable wages and child care. Ruth is currently a member of the board of directors of the Missouri Family Health Council and Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice, and is co-chair of the Jobs With Justice Workers’ Rights Board. She is a member of the Catholic Charities Advocacy Advisory Council. Ruth was selected as a Health Care Hero in Policy by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2007, and as a Distinguished Alumni by the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, 2008. She has received the Child Advocate of the Year award from the Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Dr. James Kimmey Lifetime Achievement Award from the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance, and The Mickey Rosen Community Advocate Award from the Missouri Association of Social Welfare. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.
Liz coordinates the overall data and research functions for the agency including production of the Children of Metropolitan St. Louis data report as well as community assessments and special reports on key policy issues for community organizations and collaborative groups. She also provides customized data on a wide array of child well‐being indicators to entities including the City of St. Louis Mayor’s Office, local foundations, legislators, and numerous community initiatives and organizations that is used in everything from securing grants to informing funding and policy decisions. Liz has served on the data committees of many collaborative initiatives and currently works closely with the data committees of the St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Council and Ready by 21 St. Louis. Additionally, over the years Liz has provided critical staff support to the St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Council and Mayor Slay’s Commission on Children, Youth and Families. Liz has been with Vision for Children at Risk since 2007 and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washington University.
Jim Braibish, APR
Jim handles financial development and communications functions for Vision for Children at Risk, including grantwriting, special events, individual giving, newsletters, media publicity, website and social media. He has been working with Vision for Children at Risk since 2002. With over 30 years of experience in communications, he has held senior management positions at the American Red Cross and Optimist International. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and the APR accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America.
Project LAUNCH Community Engagement Specialist
Sam utilizes his background and visibility in the community to help engage parents and families with Project LAUNCH activities to promote young child health and wellness. A Project LAUNCH staff member since 2013, Sam is a supportive husband of 26 years and the father of nine children (seven daughters and two sons). At Grace Hill Head Start, he served as the chair of the Magnolia Center’s Parent Committee as well as the vice chair of the Policy Council. He has been an AmeriCorps member for two years serving as the male involvement specialist. Sam was selected as the Missouri Head Start Association’s 2011 Father of the Year. In addition, he has also been named the Region VII Head Association’s 2011 Father of the Year. In 2015, he was appointed to the national FRIENDS Advisory Council for the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention program of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. He holds an associate degree in applied science and human services from St. Louis Community College.
Nancy Rubin, MSN
Project LAUNCH Health Coordinator
Nancy brings 31 years of experience as a nurse for children with mental health issues. Besides her part-time work at Project LAUNCH and Vision for Children at Risk, she is a nurse at Centre Pointe Hospital in St. Charles and an adjunct faculty member at Maryville University. Nancy joined Project LAUNCH in 2014 and holds a master’s degree in nursing from Loyola University of New Orleans.
Breann Schubert, MSW
Project LAUNCH Activities Coordinator
Breann carries out Project LAUNCH activities that integrate services, enhance the expertise of providers, increase public awareness and more. She joined Project LAUNCH in January 2015. Previously, as a research assistant with Washington University, she generated an evaluation plan to measure utilization of vacant land in Old North St. Louis. As a student intern at Grace Hill Settlement House, she co-led the implementation of an early childhood care and education study. From 2011-2013, she spent a year and a half in Zambia as a volunteer with an orphanage. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.