AmeriCorps Members

TNOYS AmeriCorps members use their skills and lived expertise to build better outcomes for Texas youth and young adults. These young leaders are currently serving at nonprofits across Texas that are part of TNOYS’ member network. Learn more about the AmeriCorps program here.

AmeriCorps Member Bios

Alysa Hinojosa, AmeriCorps Youth Support Specialist at Communities in Schools of Coastal Bend (She/her)

Alysa Hinojosa is a first-year member working with AmeriCorp as a Youth Support Specialist. She works alongside Communities In Schools Coastal Bend at Foy H. Moody High School to prevent youth from dropping out of school,  and also offers College and Career Readiness guidance. 2-3 years ago, Alysa was going through a rough patch with her parents which led to her being homeless at age 17. Now, being 19 and working in a high school with at-risk kids, her age and history make it easier to talk with students and give them advice that can relate to their own struggles. She wishes to pursue a degree in psychology and continue helping at-risk children. 

Brenda Woolley, AmeriCorps Youth Support Specialist at Texas Network of Youth Services (She/her)

Brenda Woolley is originally from Haiti, but currently resides in Dallas, Texas. She is currently in pursuit of her Master’s in Public Administration, with a focus in Nonprofit Management. Being from a third-world country, Brenda has witnessed the struggle of living in a world of limited resources and has experienced the impact of social and economic injustice. Brenda joined the Young Adult Leadership Council in hopes of learning and advocating for those in need of assistance-mentally or physically. Since then, Brenda has completed her time with YALC and recently joined as one of the new AmeriCorps members. Brenda joined with the intent to make a difference and learn more about how and why things are done a certain way. Brenda hopes to continue to be a part of the change, and process.

Isaiah Garza, AmeriCorps Youth Support Specialist at Communities in Schools Coastal Bend (He/him)

Isaiah Garza, born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, is currently on the path to go back to college and obtain a degree for Architecture, Engineering, or Interior Design. He recently joined the AmeriCorps Program to help children going through hard times at home that might be interfering with their school life. He works alongside Communities In School Coastal Bend at Roy Miller High School to prevent youth from dropping out of high school. Growing up, he witnessed a lot of family conflicts and at-home struggles firsthand. He believes that every child should be able to go home to a calm and welcoming environment and that they should be able to focus on school without worrying about their problems at home.

Kayla Wells, AmeriCorps Youth Support Specialist at Promise House (She/her)

Kayla Wells was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. As a child and teenager, Kayla has faced a ton of challenges that led her to the path she is on today. Kayla is a senior psychology major at the University of North Texas at Dallas.  She has a desire to be a Texas educator in the Dallas Independent School District. Ultimately, Kayla would love to pursue the goal of becoming a Child and Family Counselor. Daily, she strives to be a living affirmation of love, light, and hope.

Jorge Leyva, AmeriCorps Youth Support Specialist at El Paso Center for Children (He/him)

Jorge Leyva is a young adult advocate. As a young adult who has past and current involvement with the homelessness system, Jorge has extensive knowledge of the ways our Texas system works. When it comes to involvement with the Texas Network of Youth Services, Jorge has previously served as a YALC member, offering his own experience(s) to the network in regards to what needs reform.

Sally Amara Uzomba, AmeriCorps Youth Support Specialist at Communities in Schools Coastal Bend (She/her)

Sally was born in the western part of Nigeria and raised in San Antonio. She is currently enrolled at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, with majors in Biomedical Science and Biochemistry and minors in Mathematics and Physics, graduating in the Fall. Sally is really passionate about bringing about change in the lives of fellow foster care youth, and using her story to impact the youths currently in care. She is also passionate about being an advocate and the voice for every youth whose lives have been affected by the stigma of being in care. Sally is currently an AmeriCorps service member at CISCB, supporting students at West Oso Elementary School.

Tiata Collier, AmeriCorps Youth Support Specialist at Harris County YSD (She/her)

Tiata Collier was born and raised in Houston, Tx. She is a former Harris County Resources – Youth on B.O.A.R.D. member from age 14 to 20 years old. HCR- Youth on B.O.A.R.D. is a positive youth development program that helps at-risk youth learn about being leaders in their communities. Through Youth on B.O.A.R.D, Tiata has attended many TNOYS conferences, as well as presented at the conference with the youth group. She has also participated in several of TNOYS’ Youth in Action Day events in Austin, TX. Tiata recently joined Harris County Resources Youth Services Division as an AmeriCorps member and plans to enroll at Houston Community College to pursue an esthetician’s license. Tiata is looking forward to giving back, as well as learning new ways to help the youth of today.