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JULY 2024

Two-Year Future Ready Bexar County Plan Update

A little over two years have passed since UP Partnership launched the Future Ready Bexar County Plan on the steps of City Hall. Since its launch, substantial progress has been made towards the plan’s North Star goal of increasing postsecondary enrollment in degree or credential programs to 70% by 2030. Over 100 cross-sector community partners have made actionable commitments to advance the equity pillars of Healing, Access and Voice, the must HAVEs for equity amongst young people.  

Although the initial plan was designed to proceed without additional funding, the collaboration and innovative approaches of Future Ready partners enabled the community to secure an historic commitment of $114 million over the next seven years to help Bexar County achieve its goal. 

Key contributions from community “Ready Makers” that included this investment include: 

A coordinating committee consisting of key partner institutions – United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, San Antonio Area Foundation, H. E. Butt Foundation, Communities In Schools of San Antonio, CAST Schools Network and Alamo Colleges District – will play a crucial countywide role in the continued implementation and success of the plan by ensuring all Future Ready partners deepen and strengthen their initial efforts.  

Our coordinating committee partners are fully dedicated to advancing more coordinated, student-centered approaches across all Future Ready partner institutions. 

East Central ISD, where each of anchor partner institutions are currently involved in, is serving as a pilot district for this work. 

UPdates and Professional Development Opportunities

UP Partnership is seeking presenters for the Future Ready Practitioner Conference on October 11, to be held at the Education Service Center, Region 20. The conference, themed “Stronger Together for a Brighter Future,” offers professional and networking opportunities aimed at fostering a Future Ready San Antonio by supporting sectors that aid young people through the equity pillars of Healing, Access and Voice. Proposals are due by July 26th and can be submitted here. For more information, please contact Tyler Radwin, UP Partnership Manager of K12 and Justice, at

Applications for Excel Academy’s Class of 2025 are now open through August 2nd. In partnership with Search Institute, this multi-year leadership development program is designed for youth-serving professionals, focusing on Racial Equity, Developmental Relationships and Continuous Improvement. For more information on how to apply, please contact Shelby Drayton, UP Partnership Senior Manager of Coaching and Facilitation, at 

To further deepen, strengthen and scale the efforts of the Future Ready Bexar County Plan, UP Partnership has hired several key positions to amplify the endeavors of the plan. These team members consist of Dr. Chryssa Delgado, Managing Director of Programs, Christina Martinez, Managing Director of Public Engagement, Dr. Paul Rodriguez, Director of Policy and Development and Kyra Thomas, Data Manager. Read more about them here. 

Ready Makers in the News

  • Creating a legacy through CAST students (San Antonio Report) As an anchor partner of the Future Ready Bexar County Plan, CAST Schools Network is dedicated to enhancing and amplifying youth voice in collaboration with Future Ready partners. This commitment demonstrates how involving young people in decision making processes better prepares them for future success.  

  • Commentary: San Antonio has to close the funding gap for children and youth (San Antonio Express News) Over 250,000 San Antonio residents live in poverty, with more than half being under the age of 18. Addressing persistent poverty requires ensuring all our young people are ready for the future. UP Partnership, along with more than 100 Future Ready partners, continues to advocate for the San Antonio City Council to allocate 20% of the growth in the city’s annual revenue to additional grant-making and initiatives focused on San Antonians ages 0-24. 

Joint Leadership Table

A review of Cradle-to-Career and College and Career Readiness data dashboards

On June 11, Sara Dunn, UP Partnership’s Director of Data and Information Management led an activity guiding partners through the updated Cradle-to-Career and College and Career Readiness data dashboards at the Joint Leadership Table held at the DoSeum. Partners were able to delve deeper on metrics such as kindergarten readiness, third grade reading proficiency, eighth grade math proficiency, high school graduation rates, college readiness, college enrollment, education attainment and employment across Bexar County school districts, school districts in cities comparable to San Antonio across the State of Texas and various academic school years.  

Partners also heard from a panel featuring a mix of current students and alumni from CAST Schools Network, moderated by liz moseley, UP Partnership’s Director of K12 and Youth Development.  Panelists shared their feedback and personal reflections on a Youth Voice survey finding, which gathered insights from over 400 juniors and seniors that attended the 2024 Future Ready Youth Summit on challenges they have encountered in postsecondary planning and enrollment. 

Lastly, Christina Martinez, UP Partnership’s Managing Director of Public Engagement, shared the results of the Youth Funding Poll conducted in late May.  The poll included over 700 registered voters and 100 individuals aged 17- 18. The findings revealed that 76% of Bexar County residents support increased funding for youth services, among other insights.  

Future Ready Councils

Future Ready Policy Council

The Future Ready Policy Council is driving progress for Bexar County’s youth. A major milestone was achieved on June 5, when the City of San Antonio Charter Review Commission presented public feedback on charter amendments including setting aside 20% of the city’s annual revenue growth, approximately $20 million, for youth services to City Council. This comes after months of advocacy from community leaders and youth.  

Future Ready Data Council

The Future Ready Data Council gathered at Our Lady of the Lake University on April 30 to work on aligning organizations’ data capacity and data needs into a student journey map for alignment. UTSA also presented potential plans for an expansion of data capacity needs and the council previewed East Central’s Salesforce-based College, Career and Military Readiness (CCMR) Dashboards used to monitor this district’s progress on this subject.  

Future Ready Communications Council

The Future Ready Communications Council convened at the San Antonio Area Foundation on June 4 to share successful media strategies in Bexar County and exchange best practices. The group also highlighted compelling stories of impact and explored ways to amplify their collective efforts, ultimately elevating their communications efforts to drive greater results. 

K12 and Justice

My Brother's Keeper San Antonio (MBKSA)

Future Ready Partners and youth representatives came together at San Antonio Preparatory Schools on May 15 for MBKSA’s May convening. By engaging directly with young people, particularly boys and young men of color, practitioners gained valuable insights into key indicators for success and heard their perspectives on how to increase postsecondary enrollment to the Future Ready North Star of 70% by 2030. 

The Restorative Practices Collaborative (RPC)

Cohort 4 of the two-year RPC is set to launch in August 2024, with a conclusion date of April 2026. A steering committee of Future Ready partners including, local educators and subject experts, is guiding the development of programming for this new cohort, focusing on actionable strategies to scale restorative practices, improve social-emotional readiness and school connectedness. The new cohort will include more than 50 participants from approximately 16 school campuses from Future Ready Partners including East Central ISD, Essence Prep Public School, Harlandale ISD, Juvenile Justice Academy, Judson ISD, San Antonio ISD, as well as Communities In Schools of San Antonio and  Stand Up SA. 

K12 and Postsecondary


Network members came together at CaféCollege on April 11 to advance its mission to boost access to valuable programs and services for Dreamers and Latinx students. By creating a resource landscape map, Future Ready Partners will identify and connect existing resources across Bexar County that support this population. Additionally, the network is developing an empathy interview to gather firsthand feedback and insights from Dreamer and Latinx students, ensuring their needs are heard and addressed.  

Equitable Enrollment Collaborative (EEC)

EEC wrapped up the 2023-2024 academic year with a final meeting on May 21 at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The collaborative achieved a significant accomplishment with the development of language for a Unified Advising Guide for grades 6-12, providing valuable insights for both college and career advising across four local school districts. EEC members are also working with Achieving the Dream to conduct a landscape analysis of K-12 of school district partnerships with higher education institutions, evaluating the alignment of strategies for middle and high school students with the Future Ready North Stary 2030 goal.  

K12 and Youth Development

Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio (EBBSA)

EBBSA brought together Future Ready partners for a coffee mixer and Transportation Access Survey Date reveal at the Magik Theatre. Akeem Brown, VIA Board Trustee and superintendent of Essence Preparatory Public School,  joined the discussion to share findings that shed light on the transportation barriers young people in Bexar County face in accessing youth programs. The data highlighted key accessibility and transportation needs, including ADA accommodations, reliable afterschool transportation and supervision during transportation. 

Excel Academy

Excel Academy Class of 2023 and Class of 2024 celebrated the end of the academic year on June 4 at the DoSeum. The event recognized their collective successes and strengthened relationships through an evening of networking and celebration. Class of 2024 participants presented their organizational plan’s visual boards, engaging with attendees by offering additional insights and answering questions about their plan. Both the Class of 2023 and 2024 received certificates honoring their accomplishments in Excel Academy.  

Future Ready Events

Future Ready Practitioner Conference

In May, 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, many of whom are members of 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, economic advisors and college admissions officers, among others.

“The UP Partnership Practitioner Conference was an opportunity to celebrate innovations in practice for youth across our Future Ready Bexar County partners,” noted Dr. Abel Gonzales, Director of Instructional Outreach Programs at the University of Texas at San Antonio, “Teachers, faculty and staff members from every level of the education ecosystem shared how equity minded practitioners are making a difference in better serving the leaders of tomorrow.”

Moving the needle forward
with a national lens

Spotlight: San Antonio
Second Annual Funder Impact Summit

Dr. Emily Calderón Galdeano, UP Partnership’s Chief Impact and Strategy Officer, and Future Ready partner Dr. Mike Flores, Chancellor of Alamo Colleges District, spoke at the Second Annual Funder Impact Summit, hosted by Economic Mobility Systems in partnership with The Greater Texas Foundation, Commit Partnership, Educate Texas and the Rural Community College Alliance. The Summit brings together educational leaders and college presidents to share best practices in regional educational and workforce community impact work.

Dr. Calderón Galdeano and Dr. Flores kicked off the Summit with a spotlight session on San Antonio and shared the announcement of a $114 million investment over the next seven years for the Future Ready Bexar County Plan. They highlighted the importance of our community collectively working together to address the college and career pipeline for Bexar County and the role of data to accelerate outcomes, alignment, and public support for the work. 

Pahara-Aspen Fellowship program

Dr. Calderón Galdeano was also recently accepted into the newest cohort of The Pahara-Aspen Fellowship. This program is designed to strengthen and sustain leaders who are transforming public education so that every child is prepared to lead a free and fulfilling life.

Dr. Calderon Galdeano is one of 23 leaders nationally selected to be part of the highly selective program’s 2024 class. Leaders chosen represent a variety of public, nonprofit and private sectors experiences and perspectives.

Accelerate ED in San Antonio: Strengthening Accelerated Pathways to Degrees and Careers 2024 Summit for Dual Credit Programs

Dr. Briana Hagelgans, UP Partnership’s Director of K12 and Postsecondary, alongside Future Ready Partners Yvonne Benton, San Antonio ISD’s Coordinator of P-TECH and ECHS Programs, Dr. Amanda Holman, East Central ISD Director of College, Career and Military Readiness and Sara Mann, Alamo Colleges District’s Chief High School Programs Officer shared insights, challenges and achievements of work being completed in San Antonio at the 2024 Summit for Dual Credit Programs, a conference designed for colleges and universities, school districts and community organizations to advance dual credit and college readiness for their young people.

In a session entitled “Accelerate ED in San Antonio: strengthening Accelerated Pathways to Degrees and Careers,” Dr. Hagelgans and team presented on how UP Partnership, as a community backbone, has successfully fostered collaborative partnerships between local school districts and colleges and universities to enroll more high school students in career-connected programs that lead to postsecondary opportunities.

In Bexar County, Future Ready partners are co-creating expansion of dual credit, P-TECH and ECHS pathways that complement classroom learning with work-based experiences and internships so young people can develop professional behaviors, networks and experience before high school graduation.

“San Antonio Community Talk: Black Youth Today”
San Antonio DreamWeek 2024

John Jacobs, UP Partnership’s Director of K12 and Justice, was a panelist on “San Antonio Community Talk: Black Youth Today,” organized  by The Black Advisory Council of Big Brother Big Sister of South Texas (BBBS) and YWCA San Antonio. The  discussion focused on the current status of black youth in San Antonio, along with their future hopes and goals. The panel, which included black male professionals in Aerospace Engineering, Corporate Training and Entrepreneurship, provided valuable insights into mentoring boys of color. They shared best practices, success stories and emphasized how mentoring serves as a tool for healing in the community. Additionally, BBBS highlighted how their work aligns with youth healing commitments outlined in the Future Ready Bexar County Plan.

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