Vanessa Rodriguez

The University of Texas at Austin’s Teach for America recruitment team is continuing our 2017 Corps Member features! We’re highlighting some of the fantastic individuals who have signed on as corps members, such as Sarah Khan, in order to shed some light on an organization that focuses on eliminating educational inequity once and for all.

This Thursday’s featured member is Vanessa Rodriguez, a fourth-year psychology major. Before joining the Teach for America family, Vanessa was a member of the University Leadership Network, a scholar in the McNair Scholars program and an intern at the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence. Vanessa states that her mentor in the McNair Scholars program was one of the reasons she applied to TFA. As a TFA alumnus, he “dedicated the time and effort in helping me achieve the goals I have thus far…and inspired me to pursue a career in education.”

Vanessa will be returning to her hometown of San Antonio to teach elementary education. Vanessa, herself a product of public education, is dedicated to giving back to the community that led her to her goal of bettering the students of today. “I wanted the opportunity to work with students from my hometown and help them achieve their goals and hopefully inspire them to pursue higher education. I want to help them gain the skills they are capable of obtaining in order for them to take advantage of the opportunities every student deserves. I had a teacher in high school who was actually teaching through TFA. The energy and dedication he had for his students to succeed was truly the factor that made me appreciate this program. Knowing there were other individuals like him, who were also part of the program, resonated with me and inspired me to follow in their footsteps.” After her two-year commitment, Vanessa hopes to return to school and obtain a PhD in education.

Vanessa advises any student interested in bettering the futures of our students to look into the mission of TFA and what it seeks to solve. “In my opinion, every student should be entitled to an equitable education that provides every student with the necessary tools to become successful in school and in life. What type of message are we sending our students if this inequity continues to persist? I believe it’s important to become involved in this fight in order to grant every student the necessary resources and advantages they should have access to from the start.”

Stay tuned for more 2017 Corps Member features! If you have any interest in applying, talk to our Recruitment Manager, Jorge Galan. He can be reached at

Jorge Galan