The Collective is Teach For America’s national association for alumni of color. The mission of The Collective Dallas-Fort Worth is to build a lasting community of leaders who will change the face of leadership in the state and our organization by leveraging the strengths, expertise, and cultural backgrounds of Teach for America’s community of color in the fight for social equity.
Desiree O’Neal (Jacksonville ’15)
Graduate Student at Teachers College, Columbia University
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Desiree attained her bachelor of arts degree in political science from Spelman College. After graduating from Spelman, she joined Teach For America and served as a 2015 corps member in Jacksonville, Florida. While in Jacksonville, she taught sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade reading, and social studies. She currently lives in Flower Mound, Texas and works with Sylvan Learning Center and the Boys and Girls Club of North Texas to facilitate a program that helps struggling students receive remediation and small group instruction aimed to further student growth and achievement. As a member of the Leadership Board, she hopes to help support and foster a real sense community for alumni of color living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Elizabeth M. Villalta (Dallas-Fort Worth ’13)
Teacher, Charles A. Gill Elementary School, Dallas ISD
Elizabeth M. Villalta is a first-generation Salvadoran-American educator who began her career as a Teach for America corps member in 2013 in Dallas-Fort Worth. Elizabeth graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Social Work and from Southern Methodist University with a Master of Education. She mixes her passion for empowering people with her love of literacy to encourage others to use and share their voices to make change. You can usually find Elizabeth at a coffee shop, drinking a soy chai tea latte and writing short stories and narrative essays for her OCCA writing group.
John Hill (Dallas-Fort Worth ’13)
Co-Founder and Program Director, CAMP Fellowship
John Hill is currently the CAMP Fellowship Co-Founder and Program Director in Dallas, TX. An Oak Cliff native, John Hill is the product of two proud Dallas ISD graduates and the grandchild of a Dallas ISD teacher. Hill returned home to teach 10th-grade world history at L.G Pinkston High School in Dallas ISD before moving to the Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas. Prior to entering education, Hill served as a fundraiser for the Harvard College Fund and a communications consultant for mayoral and city council candidates in Los Angeles. Most recently, he managed the successful reelection campaign for Dallas ISD Board President Dan Micciche and field director for Trustee Dustin Marshall. Over the past four years, Hill has worked closely with local organizations to support candidates seeking office in Dallas ISD. He is joining The Collective-DFW to be an active partner in forming a sustainable mechanism to engage, empower, and activate alumni of color to have a positive impact on Dallas communities.
Kelly Perez (Dallas-Fort Worth ’15)
Manager, Alumni Talent, Teach For America DFW
Kelly grew up in Pasadena, Texas, and attended the University of Texas at Austin where she got her BA in social work. After graduating, she committed to TFA and joined the 2015 Dallas-Fort Worth corps, where she taught reading and writing at Ann Richards Middle School. Kelly was drawn to TFA’s mission because of her experience in public education and the belief that our current education system is outdated and in need of leaders who put people first. Kelly has remained in Dallas since then and calls it home. Her experience with TFA and teaching inspired her to stay committed to challenging educational inequity by joining the TFA Dallas alumni program staff. Kelly joined the DFW Collective Board because she is excited about the impact this group will have in empowering alumni of color, serving the community, and improving the lives of students across DFW.