As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the California, but you can never take California out of the girl. You must arguably cannot ever take the Golden State out of this woman; nor the Grand Canyon State in her case either. In a crossroads of the two western desert states, we meet the *reigning Ms. California United States and MLB Network P.A. Sande Charles; the fire-filled, passionate beauty queen who thrives between her two homes, trades in her crown for a baseball cap and breaks stereotypes in the workforce wherever she goes.
The Glendale, Ariz., native, sister of five rowdy brothers, and a proud graduate of Arizona State University jetted to Los Angeles the day after her graduating with her undergraduate degree to pursue her career with television and communications.
“I knew I wanted to be on TV, and I knew I wanted to be in film so I moved as quickly as I could. I started working in TV and production and acting as an extra, or as a P.A., or anything like that,” says Charles.
Eleven years later after climbing the production and reporting latter, from working for the Los Angele Kings to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the same vivacious and spirit-led woman still calls both Arizona and California her home. Working full-time at MLB Network since 2011 and Fox Sports Los Angeles, to traveling back “home” for Spring Training and freelance reporting and hosting events.
Even in such a fast paced and male-dominated industry, the crown-wearing sports-lover wouldn’t change it for the world.
“Hands down, the people are the best part of the job. I’ve never worked for a network that has your best interests at heart. They’re my family. I don’t know what I would have done the last four years without all of my bosses and everyone here. I don’t know how I got so lucky, God is too good” says Charles.
Working in sports and reporting was always on the checklist for Charles, but competing in a pageant—not so much. Holding a pageantry title was the last thing on her mind in life until the opportunity to compete fell into her own perfect timing last year.
“It’s still surreal because I don’t look at myself as ‘it.’ I have always been such a tomboy. I can put on the dress, I love the shopping, and I love taking care of myself, but to be Ms. California is still crazy. All of these great connections came out of it but are still surreal,” she says.
“I constantly want to be a role model to other women. I want to say ‘hey little girls, you can do this. Dreams do come true. You can work hard, you can feel good about yourself, and you can be healthy with it. You can have it all. It’s possible.’”
Adding to her list of accomplishments and schedule book, Charles now has added work as the in-game host for Honda Center and reporter for Focus Magazine and Focus TV. She will continue to travel between Arizona and California.
Charles just recently gave up her crown to the new reigning Ms. California United States who will serve for a 12-month duration (2015-2016).