Our Approach & Team

Unlocking Potential together.

What Is Our Work?

To ensure all young people in Bexar County are ready for the future,
UP Partnership operates three core strategies.

Establish Data Coordination

Enhance Future Ready Pathways

Enable Relevant Policy Change

We help our partners to better understand their programs through data. We help to connect partners’ efforts in ways that expand young people’s pathways to success. And, working alongside our partners, we help to drive policy improvements that will improve young people’s lives.

These strategies unite everything we do.

Our Values

UP is a collective impact organization of more than 175 youth-serving institutions. We engage leaders at all levels to leverage shared vision, strategies, metrics and technology to unlock the potential of San Antonio’s communities.

b3lineicon|b3icon-network||Network

Data Driven

We will use data to prioritize action, inform decisions and as a means of accountability.

b3lineicon|b3icon-user-switch||User Switch

Collaboration

We will work across sectors to utilize a collective impact mindset and strategy in pursuit of our mission and vision.
b3lineicon|b3icon-user-shield||User Shield

Integrity

We will do what’s best for young people by leveraging all resources while recognizing our own biases.
b3lineicon|b3icon-scale||Scale

Equity

We will influence decision makers and community investment strategies, while practicing our own commitment to diversity and inclusion, to ensure equitable opportunities for young people across Bexar County.
b3lineicon|b3icon-megaphone||Mega Phone

Advocacy

We will play a leadership role in the community to shape and reframe policy conversations and funding decisions at the local and state level.

Check out an article by our Executive Director, Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, in The Rivard Report, “Sharing Drives Change, Shapes Futures in San Antonio.

Staff

Our team works together through a shared commitment to honesty, respect, creativity, communication and impact.

Leroy Adams

Leroy Adams

Our Tomorrow Network Manager

Leroy’s life has been shaped by his unending passion for people and his belief in the power of community. After earning a degree in political science, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia–evaluating infrastructure, programs, and practices and leading professional development training. He has five years of youth development and teaching experience and recently became a fellow with the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. His work is driven by his desire to empower community members to find their voice and leverage their collective strength to create change in their communities.

210-727-0150
leroy@uppartnership.org

Chuck Bridger

Chuck Bridger

Operations Manager

Chuck has enjoyed a 25-year career in non-profit health and human services program and agency management.  He was a US Peace Corps volunteer before earning his Master of International Administration degree.  Married with two grown, amazing children Chuck loves most outdoor activities and traveling to new places.

210-787-4655
chuck@uppartnership.org

Kathleen Denny

Kathleen Denny

Research and Communications Manager & Sociologist

Kathleen firmly believes in the power of research and data to improve outcomes and, ultimately, contribute to positive social change. With her PhD in Sociology, Kathleen is a passionate social scientist who previously served as a professor at Trinity University and as an analyst in the City of San Antonio’s Department of Human Services.

210-787-4658
kathleen@uppartnership.org

Chellie Fernandez

Chellie Fernandez

MBKSA Network Manager

Chellie Fernandez has a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Chicago, concentrating in School Leadership in Community Schools. Her research explores the school-to-prison pipeline and alternative school discipline strategies, such as circle keepers and trauma-informed schools. She developed this passion after seeing firsthand as a teacher the impact punitive practices had on youth of color within her district.

210-853-5271
chellie@uppartnership.org

Rodnekka Hall

Rodnekka Hall

MBKSA Vista

Rodnekka Hall serves as an Americorps VISTA with My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio. She assists with community outreach, event coordination and social media management . She has previously worked with Head Start programs serving as an active member of the Parent Board Committee and helping coordinate community outreach activities.

rodnekka@uppartnership.org

Ryan Lugalia-Hollon

Ryan Lugalia-Hollon

Executive Director

Ryan was previously with Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio. Prior to this role, Ryan lived in Chicago for 15 years, where he worked at The Field Museum, YMCA and Northwestern University. He is the co-author of The War on Neighborhoods: Policing, Prison and Punishment in a Divided City.  He received his PhD in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

ryan@uppartnership.org

Cristina Mendez

Cristina Mendez

Diplomás Network Manager

Cristina has worked with school districts, as well as local and state governments, to evaluate programs, improve operational efficiencies and apply a human design lens when working with public feedback. Cristina has recently achieved her Masters in Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

cristina@uppartnership.org

Zamira Rodríguez

Zamira Rodríguez

MBKSA Vista

Zamira serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA with My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio. She assists with capacity building and is passionate about making a positive impact in her community. Zamira is currently completing her Master’s in Public Administration at Texas State University and has previously interned with various nonprofit organizations and local and state governments. She loves traveling—she’s visited five continents so far—and exploring different places.

zamira@uppartnership.org

Kimberly Sama

Kimberly Sama

Learning Pathways Architect

Kimberly is an entrepreneurial humanitarian with fifteen years of domestic and international development and leadership experience.  Passionate about community, she strives to  apply business concepts towards the achievement of sustainable social impact.

kimberly@uppartnership.org

Andrew Valencia

Andrew Valencia

Project Support Assistant

Andrew supports the management of initiative deliverables across multiple projects in the culmination of a nonprofit career spanning from literacy to community impact. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and International Studies from Trinity University, and in his spare time Andrew enjoys consuming the latest critically acclaimed media.

210-852-2895

andrew@uppartnership.org

Board of Directors

Our Board helps to guide our strategy and to support alignment across our partners. It is composed of leading executives from Bexar County’s education, business and philanthropic sectors.

Elaine Mendoza

Conceptual Mindworks, Inc.
Chair

Charlie Amato

SWBC
Immediate Past Chair

Robert Blount, Jr.

MITRE Corporation
Secretary

Dean Alexander

Christus Santa Rosa Health System

Danny J. Anderson, PH.D.

Trinity University

Jeanette Ball, Ph.D.

Judson ISD

Sarah Baray

Pre-K 4 SA

Rebecca Brune

San Antonio Area Foundation

Taylor Eighmy, PhD.

UTSA

Jeff Goldhorn, PH.D.

Education Services Center Region 20

Jorge Elizondo

H-E-B Grocery

Felicia Etheridge

CPS Energy

Brian Gottardy, ED. D.

North East Independent School District

George Hempe

Workforce Solutions Alamo

Vanessa Lacoss Hurd

Community Representative

Mike Flores, PH.D.

Alamo Colleges

Pedro Martinez

San Antonio Independent School District

General Edward Rice, Jr.

United Way of San Antonio and
Bexar County

Kate Rogers

The Holdsworth Center

Simon Salas

Good Samaritan Community Services

Anne Shelleng

Children’s Chorus of San Antonio

John Steen

Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board

Nathanael Tarwasokono

First Mark Credit Union

Julian H. Treviño, ED.D.

Community Representative

Lloyd Verstuyft, ED.D.

Southwest Independent School District

Brian T. Woods ED.D.

Northside Independent School District

Our Amazing Funders

Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
After School Allstars | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Arts San Antonio | Excel Beyond the Bell SA Partner
After School Allstars | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
After School Allstars | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
After School Allstars | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
After School Allstars | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
After School Allstars | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Arts San Antonio | Excel Beyond the Bell SA Partner
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA
Big Brother Big Sisters of South Texas | Excel Beyond the Bell SA