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More than 200 youth-serving professionals sharpened their skills during the Future Ready Practitioner Conference

On May 22, 2023, more than 200 youth-serving professionals across Bexar County came together at the inaugural Future Ready Practitioner Conference held at St. Mary’s University.

The conference was hosted by UP Partnership and a group of cross-sector partners made up of leaders from local school districts, colleges and universities, and youth development organizations. Many of these partners are members of UP Partnership’s My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio, Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio, and Diplomás networks, which helped form the conference’s programming.

The conference provided professional development and networking opportunities for teachers and college faculty, principals, counselors, and academic advisors, and college admissions officers, among others.

The opening keynote on developmental relationships was provided by Benjamin Houltberg, Ph.D., President and CEO of Search Institute. During lunch, Bexar County youth provided their perspectives during a Diversity Student Panel, while Abel Gonzales, Ph.D., Director of Instructional Outreach Programs at the University of Texas at San Antonio offered the closing remarks. 

Read More.

Data Point


Estimated number of additional students per year enrolling in a postsecondary degree or credential to reach the Future Ready Bexar County Plan goal of 70% by 2030.

This data point and similar data points can be found on the recently launched Bexar County Postsecondary Metrics Dashboard on UP Partnership’s website. This dashboard illustrates college readiness, access to postsecondary education through dual credit and postsecondary enrollment. This dashboard also depicts the number of students needed by each school district and high school to reach the Future Ready Bexar County’s North Star goal of 70% postsecondary enrollment in a degree or credential program by 2030.

In the News: An Op-Ed by our CEO and Board Chair in the San Antonio Express-News

On May 25, the San Antonio Express News published an op-ed co-authored by CEO Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, Ph.D. and board chair Elaine Mendoza titled “Paving the way for a brighter future for young people.”

The piece is a high level synopsis of the impact and progress made by Future Ready Bexar County Plan partners throughout the first year of the plan’s implementation. Further examples of how youth-serving organizations are moving the work through Future Ready Bexar County’s  equity pillars of healing, access and voice can be found here.

Read the article here.

Latest UPdates

Meet UP Partnership’s K12 and Youth Development Team

UP Partnership’s K12 and Youth Development team collaborates with community partners through the Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio (EBBSA) network San Antonio network and Excel Academy to strengthen the student experience in Bexar County. The team consists of liz moseley, Director of K12 and Youth Development, Shelby Drayton, Senior Manager of Coaching and Facilitation who leads Excel Academy and Sarah Hinojosa, Manager of K12 and Youth Development who leads EBBSA. Read more about them here.

UP Partnership and Community Partners visit Harlem Children’s Zone

In early May, Harlem Children’s Zone hosted a cross-sector of Future Ready Bexar County Plan community partners including Alamo Colleges District, Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, Communities in Schools of San Antonio, San Antonio Area Foundation, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and UP Partnership. The lessons learned on the trip will help community implementation of the Future Ready Bexar County Plan.


June is Pride Month. At UP Partnership, we know that racism and bigotry can take a psychological toll on marginalized people. We stand with the LGTBQ+ community against the homophobic and transphobic bills that could block vital care and access to LGBTQ+ young people. Every child, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to have the support of their community.

Partner Spotlights

Future Ready partner organizations that empower girls and women

In March, UP Partnership celebrated Women’s History Month by highlighting Future Ready partners organizations that empower girls and women to be the leaders of the future. Included in the story were Empower House, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, Girls on the Run Bexar County, Lemonade Circle and YWCA San Antonio. Read More.

How 100 Black Men is changing young people’s lives through workforce programming

100 Black Men of San Antonio “focuses on education, economic empowerment, health and wellness and leadership development all anchored in mentorship,” the organization’s local Executive Director Dr. Milton Harris, DBA, told UP Partnership.

The organization works in the community by offering programs that focus on alternative high school completion, workforce credentialing, creating mentorship relationships, among others. Read more about the impact 100 Black Men is having in Bexar County here.

Excel Academy and Restorative Practices Collaborative Recruitment

Applications for the new cohorts of Excel Academy and Restorative Practices Collaborative are now open! If you are interested in Excel Academy, contact Shelby Drayton at If you are interested in Restorative Practices Collaborative, contact Suzette Solorzano at

Want to be spotlighted? Contact Carrie Ballard-Banuelos at with your story to potentially be featured in our stories!

Partner Resources

UP Partnership’s Future Ready partners are a wealth of information and resources that can be used to elevate the being done in Bexar County. As the backbone organization, we are committed to sharing these resources with all of our partners.

Request for Presenters:
Future Ready Practitioner Conference on May 22

At the Inaugural Future Ready Practitioner Conference, cross-sector partners presented on a diverse topics such as changes in the 2023-2024 financial aid process, strengthening school and family relationship, the effects of STEM peer mentors and many more. All presentations can be found here.

New Horizons and Opportunities Grant Request for Proposals

Carlos Maestas, Founder and Chief Storysmith at Key Ideas, joined the Communication Council’s May meeting for professional development in authentic storytelling, the power of positioning and simplifying your message. His presentation can be found here.

Communications Council on May 11 

The Racial Equity Toolkit, from the Collective Impact Forum, outlines ways community organizations can operationalize racial equity within their team. Through individual reflection and conversation, organizations can gain skills to center racial equity in their work.