To all of our partners, a sincere thank you for your collaborative work in making 2022 a successful year!
In 2022, UP Partnership launched the Future Ready Bexar County Plan with a goal of getting at least 70% of our community’s high school graduates enrolled in a degree or credential program by 2030 from the current 50% enrollment rate. Those who earn an associate degree typically make $400,000 more over the course of their lives, and those who earn a bachelor’s degree typically make $1.2 million more than those with a high school diploma.
Making sure that all of our young people are future-ready is our entire community’s responsibility. UP Partnership works with partner organizations like you so more young people can access higher-quality, more inclusive programming and support.
Starting in January, we used 2022 to build a more unified movement across our partnership. The Future Ready Bexar County plan is now a shared framework for all interested child- and youth-serving institutions in our community. Our systems change networks – Diplomás, Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio, My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio and Our Tomorrow – are key anchors for this plan’s implementation.
Advanced by a committee of young people, UP Partnership was able to give eleven youth-led groups from Southwest, East Central, San Antonio Independent School Districts, and the Center for Young Minds grants worth a total of $43,000. These grants, awarded in December 2021, support youth-initiated and youth-led projects across the districts.
A combined $25 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds were allocated by the City of San Antonio to child and youth-serving organizations in the fall of 2022. Advocacy by UP Partnership’s Excel Beyond the Bell Network throughout 2021 culminated with an initial $10 million in ARPA funds budgeted for youth-serving organizations in February, with an additional $15 million allocated toward young people’s mental health in September.
My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio honored 67 high school boys and young men of color as scholarship recipients. The event celebrated the scholars and provided valuable professional development opportunities for our partners and network teams.
Nearly 100 community leaders, including executives and staff of major youth-serving institutions across Bexar County, gathered on the steps of City Hall to launch the Future Ready Bexar County plan, a countywide collective alignment plan that aims to reduce historical systemic inequities. You can see the action commitments of each of the 72 Future Ready partners here.
The annual Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio Summit was held with the theme of “We’re All in This Together: Focusing on Healing, Resilience, and Racial Equity.” More than 160 youth development professionals attended from nearly 40 institutions to learn best practices from EBBSA community organizations.
The third annual Growing UP in San Antonio (GUISA) conference was held virtually. GUISA connected practitioners and community members in discussing how we can support Dreamers, Latinx students, boys, and young men of color on the path to postsecondary success.
In past iterations, Excel Academy participants have received training from national research organization Search Institute on Developmental Relationships, while UP Partnership provided coaching and continuous improvement training and Quantum Possibilities provided racial equity training. In June, Search Institute asked UP Partnership to deepen our relationship by elevating our Excel Academy as a model community practice. As a result, the two organizations have started a multi-year pilot to further expand Excel Academy’s model through funding for the John Templeton Foundation.
UP Partnership virtually convened more than 150 senior leaders of institutions for the inaugural Future Ready Leadership table. Together, we highlighted projects that are already having an impact on Bexar County students and in reaching our North Star of 70% postsecondary enrollment by 2030. The Future Ready Leadership Table will next meet in January 2023.
Partners from Diplomás and My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio convened at Weathered Souls Brewing Company to honor their network chairs for their hard work and dedication.
As part of the Future Ready Bexar County plan’s aligned communications strategy, UP Partnership launched the newly designed Communications Council. This Council brings together leadership and communication professionals to share best practices, stories of success, and new opportunities as they relate to healing, access, and voice, the must-have equity pillars for young people in Bexar County.
Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio held its annual CEO Roundtable Retreat to connect and renew relationships as they push to provide high-quality youth development programs for San Antonio’s young people.
UP Partnership hosted the My Brother’s Keeper Texas Statewide Summit with more than 100 individuals from Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio to propel the mission of My Brother’s Keeper forward as a statewide coalition.
UP Partnership staff traveled to Chicago for the 2022 StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Network Convening, where we joined with partners from across the United States to network, learn and collaborate with those doing the same good work. The lessons learned throughout the convening will help us fine-tune promising practices as we continue to serve as the backbone of the Future Ready Bexar County plan.
UP Partnership cannot do our work as a backbone organization without the generosity of those that fund our work. These funders have continued their investment, including 3M, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Blue Meridian Partners, Charles Butt Foundation, City of San Antonio’s Department of Human Services, Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Corporate Partners for Racial Equity, National Post-Secondary Institute, San Antonio Area Foundation, StriveTogether, and USAA.
My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio and Diplomás networks brought together nearly 400 juniors and seniors from partnering school districts for the inaugural Future Ready Youth Summit that took place at Northeast Lakeview College. Programming focused on providing college and career planning and support to students in attendance, many of whom identified as boys and young men of color, Dreamers, and/or Latinx.
UP Partnership staff members traveled with Restorative Practices Collaborative representatives from Judson ISD, Harlandale ISD, and San Antonio ISD to Oakland, CA, to observe and learn the next practices from successful restorative justice programs in that area to replicate in Bexar County schools. The Restorative Practices Collaborative is currently operating in these three districts with plans to expand in the upcoming year.
UP Partnership launched the inaugural Future Ready Joint Leadership Table, where the majority of our 71 institutional partners came together to build cross-agency connections that will support the advancement of healing, access, and voice for the Future Ready Bexar County Plan.
To honor the leaders of our Excel Beyond the Bell network, UP Partnership hosted a youth Development Appreciation Dinner on November 1 at Pedrotti’s Ranch.
At the end of 2021, UP Partnership was named one of the six implementation partners by Corporate Partners for Racial Equity to support My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio and its justice work. Working closely with the San Antonio Area Foundation, two rounds of grants were made through this fund in 2022. The first grant was used to strengthen our Restorative Practices Collaborative by funding six long-standing community organizations to grow local school districts’ healing capacity An additional grant was made to help justice-involved young people attain internships and re-enter the workforce.
In conjunction with Say Sí, we invited diverse young artists from local high schools, grades 9 – 12, to submit artwork to the “We Are Now” 2022 Exhibit with artwork ranging across many platforms, including film, painting, sculpture, music, dance, and theater. The exhibit will occur in mid-December.