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Spotlight: Jerome J. Sanders ’10


Jerome J. Sanders

Jerome J. Sanders learned a lot during his time at Preuss. But there’s one lesson that stuck with him: “If you want something enough and persevere, you can defy the odds.”

Sanders is a graduate of The Preuss School class of 2010 (which he jokingly calls the best class the school ever produced). He went on to become the first in his family to attend college, majoring in marketing at Santa Clara University, where he secured a marketing internship at Cisco. After graduation in 2014, he was hired by the company as a digital marketing specialist to work in their offices near Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Today, he serves as an innovation communications manager, sharing new and exciting discoveries and innovations spearheaded by Cisco and its partners with all 73,000 of Cisco’s employees. He meets with Cisco’s executive leadership teams, leaders throughout the company who have started novel and groundbreaking innovation programs and incubators, to communicate their potential for making a difference in the world.

“My job is all about connecting the dots across the business, both inside and outside Cisco,” said Sanders. “It is amazing to hear from agents of change and get a view into what’s next in the future.”

Sanders credits his time at Preuss with giving him the foundation for success. “Preuss changed my life,” he said. “Preuss students and alumni are a group who statistically, based on their backgrounds, shouldn’t have made it. But the school plants a seed in your mind that you will go to college. You are also surrounded by other students who aspire to be CEOs, doctors and lawyers. Preuss gave me a different outlook on life and what is possible.”

Sanders works to pay it forward, helping other youth from disadvantaged backgrounds whenever possible. When he returns to San Diego, he makes a point to visit his high school alma mater and share his experiences with current students to plant that same seed that was planted in him at Preuss for a brighter future. Earlier this year, Sanders also traveled abroad to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to mentor and inspire more than 125 Haitian college students to pursue their dreams as part of a Cisco-sponsored program. 

“Preuss instilled values in me that have given me the opportunity to change the world,” he said.