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Profiles of Alumni


10 items

Alumni of Teach For America are a part of diverse network of leaders from all career fields, working to create opportunity in a variety of ways around the world. Meet some of our alumni, and read how their career trajectories have been shaped and transformed by their corps experience.



Kalisha Dessources


National Collaborative of Young Women's Initiatives

Region: Greater Philadelphia, '12

As a policy advisor to President Obama’s White House Council on Women and Girls, Kalisha focused on advancing equity for girls of color. She credits her time as a middle school teacher for preparing her for such a high-profile role.


Rainey Johnson

Undersea Medical Officer

Naval Medical Research Center

Region: Las Vegas, '09

As an undersea medical officer, Rainey is following his passion for science and serving others. But his medical career wouldn’t be what it is today without his experience working as a middle school science teacher first.


Max G. Lesser

J.D. Candidate | Georgetown University Law Center

Law Clerk | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Region: New York, '14

Teaching special education in NY as a TFA corps member gave Max Lesser the proximity he needed to keenly identify educational inequity and the systemic factors that feed into it. Since his days in the classroom, Max has leveraged his teaching experience and legal knowledge to advance criminal justice reform, policies that could greatly improve the lives of the community he once served. Learn more about his journey.


Sunny Liu

Senior Fiscal Analyst

New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee

Region: New Mexico, '13

Sunny Liu currently works in the New Mexico Legislature, but got his start with Teach For America.


OJ Oleka, PhD


Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities

Region: St. Louis, '10

Teach For America alum OJ Oleka, PhD uses his college and corps experiences to shepherd education and financial empowerment legislation into law in state government in Kentucky.


Garvey Pierre

Foreign Service Officer

US Department of State

Region: Miami-Dade, '09

As a U.S. diplomat, Garvey Pierre is working toward creating more understanding and connection around the world.


Pat Pontius

Senior Adviser, Community and Economic Development

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Region: Los Angeles, '99

Pat Pontius served in the Obama administration as the Executive Director of the White House Council for Strong Cities, Strong Communities. Learn why he chose to serve in the classroom before his career in public service.


Monica Rodriguez

Director of Children and Youth Services

City of Detroit, Mayor’s Office

Region: Detroit, '11

Teach For America Detroit alum Monica Rodriguez is helping expand the city’s ability to shape child-centered education policy. She was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business Twenty in Their 20s in 2018. 


Denise Terrazas

Program Evaluator

New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee

Region: New Mexico, '13

Denise Terrazas joined Teach For America to help improve the educational outcomes in her home state of New Mexico.


Rosaline Tio

Program Evaluation Analyst

Georgia Governor's Office of Student Achievement

Region: Metro Atlanta, '11

Rosaline says her experience as a high school math teacher has been invaluable in developing a nuanced lens for her role in the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.