Victoria Villarreal

By Lauren Goodwin

Growing up in South Houston, near Pearland, Victoria has always been interested in politics and what happens in the world around her and beyond. As a daughter of parents who have always been involved in service, she learned to become intuitive about her surroundings, thus leading her to earning her degree in Political Science and minoring in Legal Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio College. She states that, “government is involved in every aspect of your life so it’s good to know what you’re getting involved in,” which makes her more active because of her knowledge of how the government works and what is going on in her own city.

Victoria’s parents taught her at a very young age to be thankful for what she has and to give back what she received as a child, which was a loving environment filled with a major influence on education and overall bettering oneself for the present as well as the future. With that, Victoria knew she wanted to be involved in the school system, not by conventional teaching, but assisting in some way and helping inner-city students where they seem to need it most: literacy.

As an Education Workforce Manager at the East End Chamber of Commerce, Victoria develops programs for East Downtown. Having been developing these initiatives since April 2015, Victoria is helping to boost our economy by educating and turning out better business professionals who are competent and can lead us into prosperity. She encourages the folks she designs programs for in particular, to earn some sort of higher education so that they can rise to meet and surpass even their own expectations of themselves.

Both of her parents earned their associates degrees and aspired to go back and earn their bachelor’s degrees, but the children came and having a career to provide for their family was prevalent and more important at the time. Victoria and her three siblings, one older and two younger, were always encouraged by their parents to either complete their bachelor’s degrees or earn a certificate of higher education. Her older brother graduated from college, the younger brother is nearly graduated from the Fire Academy and her younger sister is a freshman at Baylor University. Their parents made sure their kids knew that not everyone was able to afford college and they should feel lucky enough to get to go to school every day.

Reading has always meant love to Victoria. She’s been in love with reading ever since she learned how and hasn’t slowed down since. Her goal is to read a new book once a month, which is a great feat if you knew her schedule. Most of us just want to finish a new season of The Walking Dead in one month. Even with the people she loves the most, she instills the importance of reading and knowledge into them and their newborn children by giving books at baby showers so their own little one can start their first home library.

In addition to working for the East End Chamber of Commerce and teaching children once a month, she is part of the executive leadership team for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s Young Professionals Group. She’s been on the committee almost since its start and has loved every aspect of it. She has a passion for literacy and unites that drive with the rest of the committee board of the YPG. She realizes now how many children can’t read or don’t have access to books and wants to be a part of that change in society. Being a part of the Executive Leadership Team has provided a stage for her to do just that when they volunteer year-round and raise money to donate at their annual Jungle Book Gala. The Foundation and the YPG appreciate all of Victoria’s hard work and massive dedication to the literacy cause and look forward to her continued growth and knowledge.