Natalie Vega O'Neil
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Natalie Vega O’Neil is the first female and first person of color to lead Junior Achievement of WA in its 68 years. Natalie is a relentless champion for children and has worked for over twenty years advocating for marginalized and vulnerable communities across the country. Throughout her career, Natalie has led youth-sectors services focused on early childhood education, grade-level literacy, emergency response, collective impact, and social mobility. Her work includes being a co-founder of a charter school in Los Angeles where she created bilingual, play-based birth to five programs and an onsite health clinic for families living in severe poverty. As a founding staff member at Thrive by Five Washington, Natalie co- led the development of a statewide Quality Rating & Improvement System and the state’s work on kindergarten readiness indicators. Natalie has worked with national and international nonprofits, including Save the Children, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and YWCA. Natalie served as a Head Start Executive Director where she oversaw Early Head Start and Head Start programs serving over 2,500 children across four states. She began her career as a Head Start Family Support Specialist in Chicago.
Natalie was named a Reign FC Legend to recognize her extraordinary contributions to the Seattle community and featured by Seattle ALPFA as a Latina Trailblazer. Natalie serves as a board member for Children’s Institute and Leadership Tomorrow. She holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Development from the Erikson Institute.