Saniyyah Thomas was born in Camden, New Jersey and raised in the Inland Empire of San Bernardino County. She attended San Bernardino Valley College in 2008 and graduated in 2012 with her Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts in Social and Behavioral Sciences. During the past three years she has worked as a Behavioral Support Specialist for a non-profit company that assists adults with special needs.
As a resident of San Bernardino city, Saniyyah became civically engaged with a group known as San Bernardino Generation Now (SBGN) in 2013-2019, in the efforts to improve the conditions of the city. Within that time, Saniyyah co-founded and co-facilitated a community outreach program called Spirits and Arts, for three years, at the Garcia Center for the Arts. Saniyyah and her co-founders’ purpose for the program was to engage and provide an affordable and creative event for the patrons of San Bernardino, and they focused their efforts to encourage community involvement in the arts, for all levels of artistic ability, as well as to create a platform and venue for local artists to gain experience in teaching an art based class. The program had been transferred over and is now operated by artist Jesse Mendivil, and the classes still continue at the Garcia Center every 4th Friday of each month.
Saniyyah continues her involvement and engagement in San Bernardino with two other organizations. She now serves as a board member for the League of Women Voters of the San Bernardino Area, and is the Membership Chair and Social Media Coordinator. And has taken on secondary employment as the Office Manager for Arts Connection.