Shaquor Sandiford was once one of Chelsea’s brightest football prospects. The former Chelsea Pop Warner star followed through on that potential by becoming an Independent School League (ISL) All-Star quarterback at the Rivers School and a Division 1 college recruit.
A two-sport standout at Rivers, the 6-foot-3-inch Sandiford was the captain of the school’s football basketball teams – and yes, he can dunk.
Sandiford led Rivers to its first ISL football title since 1915, earning All-New England honors in the process. One of the highlights came when he competed in the Norm Walker Bowl at Gillette Stadium (Rivers lost 36-28 to Pingree on a blocked field goal return for a touchdown).
Sandiford’s spectacular career attracted the attention of many college programs and he eventually chose Springfield College. But he decided to leave college and pursue his entrepreneurial goals within network marketing and building up his personal brand.
“I just felt at that point in my life I could achieve more by gaining some real life experiences,” he said.
Sandiford is back in the city working at Chelsea Restoration Corporation as a full-time rehabilitation specialist. He is also involved in first-time homebuyer courses, foreclosure prevention counseling, and qualifying families for home improvement loans.
“Chelsea Restoration Corporation (CRC) is a great place to learn about the housing industry,” said Sandiford. “I love working with [Executive Director] Helen Zuzzo. She’s brilliant. I’ve learned so much from her during my time at Chelsea Restoration.”
The 21-year-old son of Sheanah McCarthy, Shaquor lost his father, Chris Sandiford, during his junior year at Rivers. Mr. Sandiford, a native of Barbados, succumbed to cancer.
“It was definitely tough losing my dad,” said Sandiford. “But it was also a chance for me to grow up a little bit. I had to make a lot of decisions. I felt that I was like a father of three with my brother (Asante) and my two sisters (Amira and Hadiya). I try to be their role model.”
As a youth, Sandiford was a member of the Jordan Boys and Girls Club where he met Josh Kraft, executive director of the club.
“Josh and others at the club helped me stay on track with their behavioral guidance,” said Sandiford. “The club kept me off the streets and it inspired me to help other teens find a place to go after school. I’ve always wanted to do something similar to a Boys and Girls Club and put kids in a positive environment.”
An aspiring real estate investor, Sandiford is preparing to teach a first-time home buying course for CRC. He is pursuing a real estate broker’s license.
A talented rapper and a manager in the entertainment industry, Sandiford is also busy rolling out his “inspirational organization,” for youth and
teens that is called Unlocking Potential. He has mentored students from Rivers, JAB Step Inc., and Excel Academy and is seeking to do more volunteer work at some of the non-profit agencies in Chelsea.
“My mission right now [with Unlocked Potential] is to inspire youth and teens to reach their full potential,” said Sandiford. “Our main focus is personal development, community engagement, and mentorship. I want to help people move forward and cope with different situations. I want to use my voice to uplift others.”
Shaquor Sandiford was once that Chelsea kid that he now hopes to help find his path in life.