Dear Partners,

We are thrilled to share that we recently received the Systems Change and Proof Point designations from StriveTogether, a national leader in high-quality collective impact efforts. Reaching these designations was the result of a rigorous summer assessment process, which dozens of you supported as partners. These achievements fulfill a long-range goal of our organization, set years ago by our Board of Directors. They represent the hard work of not just our Partners, Staff and Board, but also the entire San Antonio community, which has been driving towards greater educational outcomes for many years, well before the founding of our organization in 2008. Here’s what these two designations mean:

  • The “Systems Change” designation means that UP Partnership operates at a very high level of rigor, in ways that align with research verified best practices in collective impact. It means that our ecosystem of partnership are clearly on the right track to driving change at scale, and that we are demonstrating many key competencies – from well-targeted data use, to impactful practice improvement, to a commitment to policy change – that are essential for population-level progress.
  • The “Proof Point” designation means that Bexar County, as a community, has seen measurable improvement in four key cradle to career outcomes since we started our data tracking in 2012. This designation is a reflection of many leaders’ work. It honors our community’s parents and students, teachers and youth development professionals, Superintendents and state policy warriors, municipal court judges and Mayors. It points to the contributions of vision holders like SA 2020 and SAEDF, other partner-serving organizations like ReadyKidSA and Region 20 – Education Service Center, and funders like the San Antonio Area Foundation, H-E-B, USAA, Valero, and the United Way. It is a testament to all of us, working together over time, to unlock the potential of our region, neighborhoods, and young people.

We are extremely proud of both of these accomplishments and you should be too. Out of 67 communities who are part of the national StriveTogether network, we only the 13th to reach these powerful milestones. Thanks for everything you’ve done, and continue to do, to drive this work forward. As we all know, there is still a very long way to go.

Yours in Gratitude,

Ryan Lugalia-Hollon