October Newsletter

white stripes

Ryan’s UPlift – Action Builds Hope

Do you believe that all young people can truly become ready for the future? Or, somewhere in the back of your mind, do you doubt the possibility? 

If you answered yes, then you are among the fierce and devoted leaders aligned to UP Partnership’s mission. If you answered no, your contributions are still vital! We just ask that you keep an open mind about what we can all achieve when working together. 

Over the past quarter, UP Partnership has been pushing as hard as ever. Our partners and staff have been actively working to create more equitable systems. We have teamed up with major corporate leaders and the United Way to drive new investments in racial equity in youth and family outcomes. We’ve made major progress on the Future Ready Plan, which directly builds on the Equitable Recovery Pledge we launched at the onset of the pandemic. We have continued working with school districts, colleges and universities, youth and community development partners, and juvenile justice reformers to drive communitywide improvement together. We even helped to lead the national StriveTogether Convening!

We are so proud of the work that we are all driving, but we also know we still have a very long journey ahead. It’s our shared belief that will sustain us for the long haul. If you are struggling to see how our world can truly get better, we invite you to get involved with a youth-serving agency near you. The more action you take with others, the more hope we think you’ll experience.

Call to Action!

Prior to the pandemic, tens of thousands of young people in San Antonio were already hurting from a lack of equitable resources and support. As a result of the pandemic, those inequities have intensified, often many times over. Youth who started off behind in academics have fallen further behind. Children who endured neglect or abuse became further exposed. And students who were struggling to stay on the path to college endured major setbacks.


That’s why the City of San Antonio must invest in our young people’s recovery from the pandemic. In the next few months, COSA will be allocating its last 230 million in ARPA dollars. We know our City Council cares deeply about our young people, but they also hear many voices advocating for other interests. If you have a relationship with your council person, please let them know you will fully support them by prioritizing services for children and youth, such as those provided by members of our Excel Beyond the Bell network.

Big Story

Future Ready Plan 

The Future Ready Plan will be a blueprint that community-wide partners can reference as we build a more equitable future for students throughout San Antonio. We will do this together by ensuring young people in our city have their voice heard, their healing prioritized and access to an education and/or career path that they deserve. Read more about the planning process here.

Data Point Spotlight

70% (3 options for text)

Through our 4 action networks and 3 collaboratives, UP Partnership initiatives have the capacity to positively impact 70% of all young people in Bexar County.

Latest Network Updates

Our Tomorrow

Youth Voice Grant applications are now open through Dec. 3! Students in SAISD, ECISD and SWISD are eligible to apply. Read more here and please share with your networks. If you would like your district students to be eligible for upcoming grant applications, please consider partnering with the Our Tomorrow network.


The annual Growing Up in San Antonio conference has been postponed until 2022. We will be hosting more joint events with MBKSA in the coming year, so stay tuned.


The Education Success Dashboard was completed ahead of schedule. This dashboard provides a shared system to assess the impact of San Antonio’s youth development sector. We also launched Cohort 2 of Excel Academy. The academy was kicked off by a racial equity training by the Search Institute.


With funding support from USAA, MBKSA is awarding up to $160,000 in scholarships. High school students, justice-involved young people and college mentors are eligible to apply with selected partners. The deadline is Nov. 12.

The Equitable Enrollment Collaborative held our first session and will be welcoming high schools to our Oct. session. We are also in the process of granting up to $6,000 awards to our institutions to help them create plans that support boys and young men of color (BYMOC) and Dreamers. The Restorative Practices Collaborative distributed $92,000 to campuses across the city to help them create a restorative justice plan that supports BYMOC. 

Chellie Fernandez

Director of College Pathways

Team Member Highlight

On Oct. 5, Chellie Fernandez, our Director of College Pathways, was awarded the Bill Henningsgaard C2C Champion Award for her dedication and contributions to building local cross-sector cradle-to-career education partnerships. Chellie believes in increasing postsecondary attainment for Latinx, Dreamers and boys and young men of color. As Director of College Pathways, Chellie oversees My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio and Diplomás, two action networks of UP Partnership.

Student Awards

C2C Convening (Art Inspires Scholars)

At the 10th Annual StriveTogether Cradle to Career Convening, partnerships from across the nation gathered virtually to celebrate achievements and lessons learned throughout the last year. For the first time since the scholarship’s inception, StriveTogether doubled its awards by selecting 12 young artists to receive a $1,000 scholarship. Because the convening was originally scheduled to take place in-person this month, UP Partnership, Say Sí and Our Tomorrow partnered to share these opportunities with students across our city. The winning artists’ works were showcased throughout the convening. Check out the list of the scholarship recipients here.

UP Partnership Team UPDates

Here we grow again! We are looking for a dynamic Director of Communications to lead our internal and external communications. Applications are being accepted through Oct. 18. Apply today.

Board UPdates

Board Retreat Recap – On July 28, our Board of Directors and other leading executives met in person for the first time since 2020. During the meeting, the Board and guest leaders made major decisions about the shape of the Future Ready Plan. They also helped to release our American Rescue Plan Act spending recommendations

Our team would like to wish our former Board member, Pedro Martinez, well as he assumes the new role of Chief Executive Officer for Chicago Public Schools. Thank you Pedro for your leadership at SAISD, on the UP Partnership Board and in our city.

Our next Board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15. During that time, our Board and executive guests will continue finalizing the Future Ready Plan.

Coming UP next November

On Oct. 5, Mayor Ron Nirenberg was interviewed by Bre Jimenez and Ayanna Brooks. Bre and Ayanna are both high school student leaders who are active in the Our Tomorrow network. The full recording will be featured in next month’s newsletter. Stay tuned! 

UPComing Events 

Flyer attached regarding: Registration info for the Oct. 28 event Keeping Recovery on Track: COVID-19 and Working with Youth Lunch & Learn if it would be sent prior to that. It is open to all youth serving professionals.

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