Yanela joined Texas 2036 as a recent graduate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. There, she received a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management. Her coursework centered around the management of educational organizations, data collection and analysis, and leadership. Prior to attending graduate school, Yanela spent five years in the classroom as an early childhood educator with Teach For America. Born and raised in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, she was a bilingual teacher only a few minutes from her childhood home at an elementary school in the Dallas Independent School District, of which she is also a former student. As the first member of her family member to attend college, Yanela is passionate about education and public service because she understands first-hand the singular impact educational opportunities have on an individual’s life trajectory. In her spare time, Yanela enjoys hiking across America’s National Parks with her husband in tow. Yanela currently lives in Dallas with her two very energetic pugs.