Rachel Blakeslee is a Master’s Candidate at the University of Washington and serves on the Teach For America - Washington alumni board

Rachel Blakeslee

Job Title
Manager, Alumni Leadership
Corps Year: 
Corps Region: 

Rachel hails from Houston, Texas and holds a BA in international studies, political science. Upon graduation, she completed three years of service as a bilingual teacher with Teach For America. Through her combined experiences of teaching and years of research and work in Latin America, she developed an interest in environmental equity issues, especially those pertaining to water.

For years she witnessed firsthand an alarming pattern of freshwater crises that transcended boundaries, the scope of which affected remote, international communities to her own students in the very city she grew up in. She quickly realized the need to go beyond analyzing the infrastructures that continued to fail those they were intended to serve, to finding real solutions, thus propelling her into pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Her current thesis work, titled “Drinking Water Quality in Seattle Public Schools: A Case of Environmental Equity,” examines the current state of water quality in Seattle’s public schools (specifically in relation to lead contamination), and the larger pattern of environmental inequity that it represents. Rachel hopes to continue a career at the intersection of policy, public health, and education, focusing on issues of water quality and children's equity.

Rachel currently serves as the Manager of Alumni Leadership for Teach For America's Washington region.

Favorite thing about Washington:

As a native Texan, Washington's beauty never ceases to amaze me. The mountains, water, and forests here keep my soul happy.

Education area you are most passionate about:

Environmental inequities that often go unseen but affect every dimension of a child's life, from academic performance to health to future opportunity access. So many of our children learn and play in schools with extreme environmental exposure risks, which have a serious implications on childhood development and directly link to cognitive impairment.

Biggest goal for the Alumni Board:

To unite alumni through the state and create a space where they can engage in the work and mission of TFA no matter where they currently are in life

Favorite Age/Subject to Teach:

I love teaching little ones! Anything from pre-k to second grade bilingual ed is my favorite!