2023 – March Newsletter


On January 11, 2023, nearly 150 executives and senior leaders from 75 partners came together at the Future Ready Leadership Table event to provide strategy and drive forward the work of our  community Future Ready Bexar County Plan

The Future Ready Leadership Table oversees progress of this plan as we strive to reach our collective North Star goal of increasing enrollment of Bexar County’s High School graduates to 70% by 2030 – a goal that can be accomplished if an additional 5,000 students from our community enroll into a postsecondary or credential program.

During workgroup breakout sessions, leaders from pre-K12 and higher education met to align shared messaging strategies and commitments for the class of 2030, youth development leaders discussed ensuring access to quality programs for all young people and a group of fundraising and corporate executives met to discuss better alignment of investment within our community. 

Prior to these breakout work sessions, the world-renowned educational organization Harlem’s Children’s Zone (HCZ) President, Geoffrey Canada, joined Mayor Ron Nirenberg in addressing these leaders in a plenary session. 

Canada was in San Antonio alongside HCZ CEO Kwame Owusu-Kesse and a a delegation of eight representatives on a two-day excursion where they met with and shared next practices with Future Ready Partners such as East Central ISD, the Alamo Colleges District, Corporate Partners for Racial Equity and Communities in Schools- San Antonio. 

Data Point


Postsecondary enrollment rate for Bexar County African American high school graduates from the Class of 2020.

This is 2% higher than the state average.

Meet UP Partnership’s K12 and Justice Team​

UP Partnership’s K12 and Justice team works with community partners through the My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio (MBKSA) network and the Restorative Practices Collaborative (RPC) to scale healing, restorative practices and programming for boys and young men of color. The team consists of John Jacobs “JJ”, Director of K12 and Justice, Suzette Solorzano, Senior Manager of Coaching and Facilitation, and Tyler Radwin, Manager of Community Engagement. Read more about them here.

Restorative Practices Collaborative Cohort 3 Kicks off

On January 19, cohort 3 of the Restorative Practices Collaborative (RPC) kicked-off at the Victory Center at San Antonio College. Subsequently, the cohort will meet eight times, including the February session that was held at San Antonio Independent School District’s office. RPC works to move Bexar County’s K12 and Justice ecosystems from a punitive to a restorative paradigm, as well as broadening the pathways to postsecondary success for justice-involved youth, opportunity youth and foster youth.

Cohort 3 has approximately 55 participants, the largest cohort of RPC to date, from East Central ISD, Judson ISD, Harlandale ISD and San Antonio ISD. One of the current cohort participants has immediately applied what they have learned and has since credited these practices with causing a “complete turn around in the classroom,” citing dramatic changes in behavior, improved classroom engagement, and improved test scores.

The work being done by this collaborative was recently also highlighted at a national Department of Justice conference and the work by Future Ready partners Empower House and San Antonio ISD’s Rhodes Elementary was recently featured in this article

UP Partnership joins forces with Search Institute, a national research organization, to augment Excel Academy work

In February, UP Partnership announced its partnership with Search Institute, a Minnesota-based positive youth development and equity-focused organization, to collaboratively expand the framework of Excel Academy to a national scale. Through a $1.6 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, a new three-year framework that helps organizations to cultivate relationships – and character-rich climates has been developed and piloted with the latest cohort of the leadership program that started last September. For those interested in further developing their developmental relationship leadership skills, stay tuned soon for the upcoming Excel Academy application cycle.

Future Ready Joint Leadership Table

Cross-sector leaders and youth leaders representing them came together at Family Services Association’s The Neighborhood Place to continue to drive forward the Future Ready Bexar County Plan’s impact in an intragenerational manner. The table discussed action commitments per organization and underwent training over two of the developmental relationship elements: expressing care and sharing power. Contact UP Partnership Chief Impact and Strategy Officer, Emily Calderón Galdeano, at emily@uppartnership.org for more information.

Legacy Leadership Initiative brings mental health strategies to the community

In partnership with Communities in Schools San Antonio, The Ecumenical Center, and District 3 Councilwoman Phyllis Viagran, UP Partnership convened 15 young people and their parents to discuss mental health, coping strategies and community resources. It was a powerful event that ended with a drumming circle and a reflection on the day’s learnings. Learn more about the Legacy Leadership Initiative here.

Request for Presenters:
Future Ready Practitioner Conference on May 22

UP Partnership is looking for presenters for the Future Ready Practitioner Conference on May 22 at St. Mary’s University. The theme is Relationships are The Work, and focuses on aspects of Developmental Relationships. For some examples of focus areas please check out the link here. Proposals are due by March 24th, 2023 and can be submitted here. Contact UP Partnership Senior Manager of Community Engagement, Jonathan Weaver, at jonathan@uppartnership.org for more information on the event.  

New Horizons and Opportunities Grant Request for Proposals

Through support from the San Antonio Area Foundation made possible by Corporate Partners for Racial Equity (CPRE), UP Partnership has released a grant application specifically aimed toward providing campus-based restorative justice training and capacity building for school districts and their alternative schools. For more information contact, John Jacobs, Director of K12 and Justice, at john@uppartnership.org

Communications Council on May 11 

UP Partnership’s Future Ready Communications Council meeting for cross-sector communications and marketing representatives will meet on May 11 At the last meeting, Council members discussed the various actions organizations are taking to create more opportunities for postsecondary enrollment for Bexar County’s students. Contact UP Partnership Director of Communications, Jeannette Garcia, at jeannette@uppartnership.org for more information.

Is your institution an official Future Ready partner yet?

It’s not too late to become a partner in the Future Ready Bexar County community-wide strategic plan. Please email UP Partnership CEO, Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, at ryan@uppartnership.org to join the more than 75 institutions that have already signed on to ensure Bexar County’s young peoples are future ready!


Youth voices needed for city-wide mental health survey

Future Ready partner City of San Antonio have launched the second annual SASpeakUp survey focusing on teen mental health for young people between the ages of 12 and 19. The survey will be available for responses through April 9, 2023, at SASpeakUp.com/TeenHealth.

Meet UP Partnership’s Data Team

Meet UP Partnership's Data Team

UP Partnership’s Data team compiles data from across the community and our partners to advance data-decision making for healing, access and voice in connection with the Future Ready Bexar County Plan.

Each member of the Data team works collaboratively with a specific systems change networks — K12 and Justice, K12 and Postsecondary and K12 and Youth Development — to gather data from partners and disseminate that data in a way that can be leveraged and used as a catalyst to create equitable outcomes for our young people.

The team spearheading data collection consists of Jasmine Martinez, K12 and Justice Data Manager, Sara Dunn, K12 and Postsecondary Data Manager, Marie Moreno, K12 and Youth Development Data Manager.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022 only 26.4% of computer and information systems managers are women and only 7.5% are Hispanic/Latino/a. At UP Partnership, we are honored that our Data team is comprised of all women and two Latinas: Sara Dunn and Jasmine Martinez.

Get to know the Data Team

Jasmine Martinez is the daughter of immigrants, first generation and Latina. She attended the first public all girls school in Texas — Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School — where she graduated as salutatorian.

She went on to graduate magna cum laude from Texas Christian University where she was able to study the relationship between nostalgic reverie and health outcomes. Jasmine then earned her master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where her research concentrated on discrimination against minorities in the criminal justice system.

In her free time, Jasmine enjoys road trips and getting to see natural phenomena.

Her advice to all is “Never give up on your dreams, no matter how hard it may seem along the way.”

Sara Dunn was born and raised in Austin. She attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her bachelor’s degree in math. After being a data analyst for a few years, Sara went on to become a math teacher in Title 1 schools.

She completed her master’s degree in educational technology and leadership which enabled her to help teachers create engaging lessons by using classroom technology. Data called her back, however, and she now enjoys being a data manager.

Sara is a wife and mother of two — a son and a daughter. She keeps busy in her free time helping with her daughter’s girl scout troop and volunteering at her children’s school.

Her advice to all is “It is important to be an advocate for yourself. If you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will.”

Marie Moreno is a self-proclaimed nerd who loves to learn new things and finds great joy in the telling, hearing and reading of stories. She is nearly always reading three books — one nonfiction, one fiction and one fantasy/science fiction — and enjoys making book recommendations to others.

Keeping with her nerdy persona, Marie enjoys playing board games with family and friends. She also enjoys being outdoors whether it be hiking, camping, playing sports, etc. Nothing makes her happier than spending time with her family.

Marie spent her early years desperate to grow up to be….Indiana Jones, but didn’t we all?

Her advice to all is “Always be willing to learn.”

If your organization is ready to join in on the Future Ready movement, please contact admin@uppartnership.org to find out more information on how you can become a Future Ready partner or donate to the work here. You can also follow our progress by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media.