Veronica Reyes-Leal

Professional Mentor

Veronica is the rare native Austinite. She did venture outside of the Austin city limits for her college education at Texas State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology along with a minor in English. She ventured a great deal further than Austin in 2012 where she chose to work abroad in Costa Rica at a wildlife and turtle sanctuary. Single-handedly she released over a thousand turtle hatchlings into the ocean!

As a first generation Mexican-American she has experienced first-hand the many hurdles the bilingual population has to overcome in and out of the education world. Due to this, Veronica has placed an enormous value on education. First, she was an Enrollment Broker with the state of Texas aiding the public in understanding, utilizing, and maximizing the use of their state benefits. Next, she entered the exciting world of elementary education as a 3rd grade bilingual teacher. As an educator, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, it became incredibly evident that children need more than a solid education in academics, they need social emotional learning, positive relationships, de-escalation strategies, and above all someone to truly believe in them. These were the pillars of her classroom, and she is thrilled to continue implementing these foundational skills as a Professional Mentor with Friends of the Children-Austin.