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Dr. Sylvia A. Leal is a Senior Program Officer for Education and Economic Development at the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, a philanthropic organization located in Lufkin, Texas serving 24 counties that encompass 5.1 million people in East Texas from Beaumont to Texarkana. Dr. Leal is responsible for identifying and implementing a comprehensive approach to improving education and economic development through philanthropic initiatives that support the foundation’s goal to alleviate poverty and build a thriving East Texas.

Sylvia’s career spans more than 30 years of experience that includes her tenure as Associate Vice President of Student Educational Outreach at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where she supervised various P-16 pre-college initiatives, federal grants, testing and other student support services; Vice President for Enrollment Services at the University of Texas at Brownsville; and as an education specialist at Region One Educational Service Center of Texas. She began her education career as a bilingual elementary teacher.

She holds a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston, a master’s degree in Education Administration, and a bachelor’s in Business Administration. In her role at the foundation, Dr. Leal continues her lifetime work seeking and developing innovative initiatives that support college access and success of first-generation minority students combined with a focus on jobs and economic development.


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