Dora Villalobos, who served eight years in the United States Army is a dedicated worker and loving mother.
The Houston native joined the military to serve her country, travel the world and pursue an education. During her time on active duty in Fort Carson, Colorado, a deployment to Afghanistan, and spending time in the reserves in Germany, Villalobos was grateful for the people she met and places she was able to visit during her time in the military.
While she was stationed in Germany, Villalobos had her daughter, who is now 10 years old. Upon being honorably discharged from the Army in 2014, she returned to Houston to begin her post-active-duty life as a veteran.
Keen on getting her education, Villalobos finished her core classes before enrolling at the University of Houston. She initially enrolled in the business program, however, she quickly realized that the Kinesiology Sports Administration program was a better fit.
“One of the things that I liked a lot, about my time in the army was that every day was different,” Villalobos said.
A career in sports quickly became something that Villalobos felt would be a mix of both a non-traditional and traditional work environment. The 2017 Super Bowl proved to be the turning point for Villalobos’ career in sports. While working the NFL Experience, she met a member of the Dynamo front office.
She started her sports career as a semester intern and has worked her way up through the organization. She currently works as a Partnership Marketing Manager for the Houston Dynamo and Dash. The Houston native works with key partners like FuboTV. This is Villalobos’ fourth season with the team and one of her favorite memories is Hector Herrera’s debut against FC Dallas where the Dynamo were locked into a tight back and fourth battle that ended in a draw.
Villalobos says none of her achievements would have been possible if it wasn’t for the support from her family, most importantly her daughter.
“As I think about it, it makes me a little emotional,” Villalobos said. “When we came back, she had to kind of endure some of those tough times with me, when we both had to wake up at 5 a.m. to drop her off at daycare at 6 a.m. so I could go to class. She was also making sacrifices so we could have a better life.”
When graduation day came along for Villalobos, she said she made sure her daughter was there to witness the achievement – even if it meant missing a day of school.
“I told her ‘You’re not going to school, you're going to be at graduation too, because you were a big part of it,” Villalobos said.
Villalobos will honored as the Katz Coffee Hero of the Game during Tuesday’s match.