UP Partnership’s Restorative Practices Collaborative aims to increase inclusion practices for local boys and young men of color​

UP Partnership's Restorative Practices Collaborative aims to increase inclusion practices for local boys and young men of color

Did you know that in Bexar County, Black students represent 6% of the student population, yet they represent 11% of out-of-school suspensions, according to a 2020 Texas Education Agency report. This statistic is due, in part, to punitive and exclusionary discipline practices like suspensions and expulsion and those types of punishment affect students of color through isolation, alienation, and criminalization.

This is where UP Partnership’s Restorative Practices Collaborative focuses their work.

The purpose of the Restorative Practices Collaborative (RPC) is to change systems to scale restorative justices in classrooms and communities to increase a sense of belonging and connection for boys and young men of color. The RPC serves all students of color, with a focus on boys and young men of color,on twenty-one campuses, in three partner districts, in partnership with Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center, the Restorative Practices Collaborative, strives to reduce those disciplinary practices that disproportionately impact young students of color.

Through monthly community building sessions and providing and sharing data to track progress and share best practices, the RPC seeks to strengthen relationships and provide alternative methods of discipline practices through a comprehensive, focused, community driven strategy. We work with our long-term partners, American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AITSCM) and Empower House, to deliver Community Building Circles to Judson ISD, Harlandale ISD and San Antonio ISD.

As we progress with our Future Ready Bexar Plan and its collective North Star, to increase the percentage of Bexar County High School graduates enrolling in postsecondary degree or credential programs to 70% by 2030, the Restorative Practices Collaborative’s work is deeply rooted in the equity pillar of healing.

Along with access and voice, healing is one of the identified must HAVEs, an acronym that aligns with the pillars that lead toward equity amongst Bexar County’s young people. Young people will be future ready when they all have the developmental relationships and healing supports they need. By focusing on healing traumas and fostering positive relationships with adults, we will increase high school completion and participation in programs outside of school, while also reducing suspensions, expulsions and juvenile court appearances.

We kicked off the final semester for the current Restorative Practices Collaborative cohort with principals and district leads from the three school districts previously mentioned, so please stay tuned for a recap of that powerful event. A new cohort will start in 2023.

We are all in this together. It will take every member of our community, working together, to ensure the success of young people through the Future Ready Bexar County Plan.

If your organization is ready to join in on the Future Ready movement, please contact us at admin@uppartnership.org to find out more information on how you can become a Future Ready partner or donate to our work here.

You can also follow our progress by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media.

Diplomás network has tangible impact on Latinx students in Bexar County

Diplomás network has tangible impact on Latinx students in Bexar County

Today we kickoff Hispanic Heritage Month—a month to appreciate and celebrate the culture, history and diversity of Latinx communities. Introduced in June 1968 by Congressman George E. Brown, the celebration was originally only one week long. It was extended to the now 30-day celebration by President Ronald Reagan and was formally adopted into law on Aug. 17, 1988.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 every year. While the Sept. 15 start day may seem odd, it is important and relevant considering Sept. 15 is the day of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, followed by Mexico’s independence day on Sept. 16 and Chile’s independence day on Sept. 18. The month ends three days after Día de la Raza (“Race Day”), held Oct. 12, a prominent holiday celebration in many Latin countries that honors the rich history and culture of a pre-colonized America. 

As we begin this month of celebration of the Hispanic culture, we would be remiss to acknowledge the difficulties and disparities that continue to impact our Latinx communities.

At UP Partnership, our network, Diplomás, is a collective impact effort that unites 23 cross-sector partners to increase the college attainment and quality of life of San Antonio’s Latinx youth

Diplomás’s core beliefs center around economic viability as it ties to the success of Latinx students, college access for everyone and shared responsibility between community partners in student success. Therefore, at UP Partnership, we  focus on creating alignment between community partners, streamlining college admissions resources and supporting Dreamers in getting into, and completing, college. 

Providing ACCESS to postsecondary opportunity is the foundation of Diplomás, and is one of the three equity pillars, along with HEALING and VOICE, that our recently  launched Future Ready Bexar County Plan is rooted in. Those equity pillars have been identified as the must HAVES for equity amongst Bexar County’s young people.  As we work toward our collective North Star goal, to increase the percentage of Bexar County High School graduates enrolling in postsecondary degree or credential programs to 70% by 2030, the work that Diplomás does is integral to reaching our goal. This work will take every member of our community, working together, to ensure the success of young people through the Future Ready Plan.

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.

Walking with a Future Ready Coach

Walking with a Future Ready Leadership Coach

UP Partnership's CEO discusses the benefits of coaching sessions to support organizations with Future Ready action commitments

There is a large, framed photograph in my family’s home that I absolutely love. It was taken years ago by a friend of mine while walking through a forest. The picture shows sunlight arriving at the forest’s edge, breaking through a thick collection of trees.

When looking at the photo, you can see yourself as the walker, as someone who pressed on even when light was hard to find, knowing it would appear again if only you kept advancing.

Similarly, leadership, almost by definition, requires walking into the unknown. To discover new possibilities, all leaders must enter the forest. They must leave behind the safety of the meadow, stepping beyond comfort zones to emerge on new ground.

At its core, coaching gives leaders someone to walk besides them to stay on course, especially when the woods grow increasingly dense.

However, it is key to not get stuck in the darkness.

This is why UP Partnership has trained several leaders in our organization as leadership coaches and started to provide coaching supports to our partners. It is also why we are offering coaching to institutions that have signed onto the Future Ready Bexar County plan, partners who are working together to make sure all young people are ready for the future. This offering is for executives, senior leaders and/or leadership teams.

UP Partnership is offering three free sessions per organization to support your organization with your Future Ready action commitments. Your designated leader or team could begin either this Fall or in the Spring. Sessions will focus on: individual leadership growth, strengthening team relationships, working together across departments, strategic planning, operational planning and/or organizational development. If this offering would be helpful, fill out this form to express your interest. Importantly, we will continue to offer coaching for youth development professionals through Excel Academy, which helps them to strengthen their program quality.

By creating space for intentional reflection, coaching helps leaders to navigate the unknown conditions around them as well as the many unknowns within themselves. It can help you to spot pitfalls, recognize patterns, understand biases, and integrate relevant feedback. Without this awareness, these are all forces that can keep you walking in circles for years.

At its core, coaching gives leaders someone to walk besides them to stay on course, especially when the woods grow increasingly dense. A great coach is a partner that helps leaders to step towards the forest’s edge; provoking new awareness until the light starts to shine through.

Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, Ph.D.
CEO of UP Partnership

Local nonprofits looking for high school-aged artists to submit artwork for an upcoming exhibit

Local nonprofits looking for high school-aged artists to submit artwork for an upcoming exhibit

SAY Sí and UP Partnership aim to showcase young artists’ during the WE ARE NOW 2022 exhibit in December

San Antonio, Texas (August 24, 2022): SAY Sí and UP Partnership’s network, Our Tomorrow, invite diverse young artists from local high schools grades 9-12 to submit artwork to be considered for a curated hybrid art exhibition now through Sept. 30. Art mediums accepted can range from items such as photography, painting, illustration, video, to poetry, performance and others.

Once all submissions are received, a committee of professional judges will review each piece and make decisions on what will be used for the exhibit. Final selections will be announced by November 2022.

Artists chosen will be featured at the WE ARE NOW 2022 art exhibit that will be held at SAY Sí’s headquarters at 1310 S. Brazos St. on Dec. 10, 2022.

Artists are encouraged to explore the following themes:
Self-Discovery: Since 2020, we’ve experienced so many changes. In the last couple of years, What have you uncovered about yourself or your perspective on the world around you? Consider how the changes around you have developed new views in your life: new perspectives on mental health, social injustices, cultural understanding, and more. Let your artwork be a reflection of yourself, who you are and what you believe in.

Social Activism: While youth around the world face socioeconomic, political and cultural struggles, how can artistic expressions explore some of the most relevant social justice issues of today? From COVID-19 casualties, gun violence, school shootings, police brutality, reproductive rights, and racial discrimination to financial loss, mental wellness and social unrest, youth have raised their voice to empower themselves and others through resilience, creativity and community.

About SAY Sí: SAY Sí is a national award-winning year-round, long-term, nonprofit arts-based youth development program for San Antonio area students in grades 6-12 that provides opportunities for these students to develop artistic and social skills in preparation for higher educational advancement and professional careers. SAY Sí programs serve over 200 students from all of San Antonio’s school districts – in addition to serving 3,000 youth in community programs. SAY Sí accepts diverse students from all areas of San Antonio, but first priority is given to students from inner-city schools and low economic households. SAY Sí’s unique approach to education has placed the organization on the national stage, with recognition as one of the top out-of-school-time organizations in the country by The Wallace Foundation on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. More recently, SAY Sí was one of seven international youth arts organizations chosen to receive an inaugural Creative Catalyst Award by Adobe Project 1324 on Tuesday, February 8, 2016. Creative Catalyst Awards are given to organizations across the globe that support and inspire the next generation of creatives. For more information, visit www.saysi.org.

About UP Partnership:
Founded in 2009, UP Partnership is a San Antonio-based nonprofit that convenes partners in Bexar County that provide healing, access, and voice to local youth to create equitable systems and ensure that all young people in the county are ready for the future. UP Partnership believes that making sure all of our young people are future ready is our entire community’s responsibility. This mission is ambitious, challenging— and achievable — if we organize our efforts. UP Partnership drives a countywide strategy through collaboration, data sharing and advocacy. Its work is conducted through collaborative efforts with its partners that focus on education and youth development initiatives through its networks of My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio, Diplomás, Excel Beyond the Bell and Our Tomorrow.

Envisioning a Future Ready Community: 3 pillars that guide our plan

Envisioning a Future Ready Community: 3 pillars that guide our plan

It is the responsibility of everybody in the community to ensure that all young people in Bexar County are ready for the future. Through the Future Ready Bexar County Plan, UP Partnership will work with a collection of partners, across varying sectors, in a collaborative effort to reach a collective North Star goal, which is to increase the percentage of Bexar County high school graduates enrolling in postsecondary degree or credential programs to 70% by 2030.

This is, without a doubt, an ambitious undertaking, but we also know that the framework of the Future Ready Bexar County plan will support and facilitate the differences required to attain that North Star. The plan is centered around three equity pillars — healing, access and voice, the must HAVEs for equity amongst Bexar County’s young people. Throughout this article, we will address how each of these pillars will ensure that young people in Bexar County are future ready.

Pillar One: Healing — Young people will be future ready when they all have the developmental relationships and healing supports they need. By focusing on healing traumas and fostering positive relationships with adults, we will increase high school completion and participation in programs outside of school, while also reducing suspensions, expulsions and juvenile court appearances.

Pillar Two: Access — Young people will be future ready when they can all access high quality education and career opportunities. By ensuring young people have crucial resources and support, we will increase postsecondary enrollment and success, as well as access to key technology needed for success.

Pillar Three: Voice — Young people will be future ready when their voices are heard and their leadership potential is nurtured. By uplifting the voices of young people, we will give young people ownership of problem solving and policy making at the tables addressing the very issues that they face.

We are all in this together. It will take every member of our community, working together, to ensure the success of young people through the Future Ready Bexar County Plan, and this list continues to grow with more and more partners signing up to be institutional agreement partners to the plan.

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.

Follow our progress by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media @UPPartnershipSA.

Closing Racial Disparities in Access to Education

Closing Racial Disparities in Access to Education

Talent is equally distributed across young people in our community, however, opportunity is not. Though this is tied to larger nationwide issues, we will start here in Bexar County to change outcomes for local young people. Since 2009, UP Partnership actively serves as the backbone organization to various institutions including school districts, postsecondary education partners, local government and other education-focused nonprofits to ensure all students in our community are prepared for the future.

As the backbone, we lead in convening our partners so that we can collectively coordinate data, align pathways and promote policy change so that all students are able to succeed.

Together, we not only relish our successes, but learn from the times we have “failed forward” by sharing lessons each of us have learned along the way.

Through some of these lessons learned, we and our partners collectively identified the need to establish a communitywide plan to ensure all young people in Bexar County are ready for the future, which is called the Future Ready Bexar County Plan.

With a north star goal of increasing postsecondary enrollment of Bexar County High School graduates in a degree or credential program to 70% by 2030, UP Partnership—alongside its partners in the nine sectors of early childhood, preK12, postsecondary education, youth development, workforce, justice, funders, corporate partners and local government leaders—will use data and metrics to develop solutions that will aid in the success of Bexar County’s young individuals guided by racial equity pillars of healing, access and voice.

We want the voices of young people to be heard and have their leadership potential nurtured. Our Future Ready vision will activate adults, the community, and youth-serving systems to prepare the next generation of leaders. When young people can identify their needs and apply their problem solving efforts, they’re better able to contribute to advocacy efforts on their own behalf. This way our young community will be prepared to join and influence decision making tables while also giving them the credit and implementation support they need.

Young people deserve every opportunity to become their best selves. With the right support, they can achieve great things in life. But their potential is often hindered by systemic obstacles. We believe that these obstacles are holding back a generation of youth and our community as a whole. We aim to change this and give kids all the opportunities they deserve.

These problems include: economic segregation and harsh disciplinary measures, for which UP Partnership’s partners are providing direct service measures to try and improve.

Problem: Economic Segregation

Economic segregation is measured by how evenly economically sound and underprivileged children are distributed within the U.S. public school system. Research shows that Black and Latinx students are more likely to attend schools with high levels of economic disadvantage compared to White and Asian students. These results have been shaped by federal and state housing policies and through a history of discrimination. These opportunity youth also experience unequal access to the same resources and learning opportunities as students from wealthier backgrounds. What this ultimately means is that school poverty rates are a key measure with educational learning and achievement.

How UP Partnership is addressing issues with equal access

This starts with a shared community vision. We want to ensure that all young students have access to education and the career opportunities they deserve. Our systematic plan will support these young individuals in enrollment and succession in postsecondary programs to reach the ultimate goal of attaining a prosperous career. With UP Partnership partner support, these students will have access to technology and high quality out-of-school-time programs. Additionally, with the help of the systems and organizations involved with UP Partnership, we will implement outreach and engagement strategies to connect young people to school and living wage opportunities.

Problem: Disciplinary Measures

Research has shown that childhood misbehavioral issues like aggression, can actually predict higher earnings later on in life. Yet, there is a disproportion regarding disciplinary measures when misbehavior occurs in schools within different racial groups. It has been found that Black children face harsher penalties for acting out on the same levels of behavior externalization compared to their White peers. For the children in lower income markets, exhibiting this type of external behavior finds no benefits, while White students have been shown to benefit from this form of expression in their fields.

To succeed, young people need to have access to restorative justice practices and healing support. Far too many of them get held back by punitive disciplinary measures and unjust systems that negatively impact their future opportunities. These individuals need to be given the support to overcome trauma and elevate their strength and resilience. UP Partnership teaches restorative justice practices to our partners that aid educators in keeping these young individuals connected to their school without providing harsh punishment.

How UP Partnership is addressing disciplinary measures in school environments

UP partnership is here to ensure all students part of this San Antonio community are prepared for the future and given the right tools to do so. We coordinate data, align pathways and promote policy change so that all students are able to surpass these negative statistics and succeed.

To learn more about who we are and our impact visit About Us | UP Partnership | Unlocking Potential.

Leaping Forward Together: Reflecting on Seven Years of Partnership

Leaping Forward Together: Reflecting on Seven Years of Partnership

My family and I made the leap to San Antonio seven years ago this July. We wanted to be closer to our parents and we wanted our parents to be involved in our children’s lives. We were also excited to escape Chicago winters, even knowing we were trading them for the unrelenting heat of Texas summers.

This was a leap that led to many others. 

I was fortunate to get a job supporting Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio. Two years into that work I took on the executive role with UP Partnership, known at the time as the  P16Plus Council. We then merged Excel Beyond the Bell and UP in service of making San Antonio the “top city in the country for youth to learn, grow, and thrive.” 

These roles connected me to collective impact – the art and science of working across institutions to solve big population level problems, such as educational equity. Collective impact quickly became my professional home. It gave me a way to combine my commitment to young people and my passion for urban planning, largely by building new structures for focused partnerships. 

I love how collective impact constantly draws us into the unknown, calling us forth into new possibilities. It helps us to see that there is an infinite pool of solutions waiting to take shape: Connections that need to be built. Agreements waiting to be formed. Collaborations ready to take root. And so many of these possibilities require enhanced versions of ourselves, new ways of showing up in the work.

Throughout these years, I’ve had the great fortune of working with more than two dozen staff and hundreds of passionate volunteers. Together, as one friend said, “we have thinned the walls that separate our institutions.” We have built a growing community movement by embracing emergence at each step of the way. 

While some benefits of this movement are intangible, many of the results are concrete. 

Through the leadership of Diplomás, we’ve built breakthrough training resources and large-scale convenings for educators. Through My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio, the Restorative Practices Collaborative has scaled restorative justice tools such as peace circles and corners, reducing several school districts’ reliance on punitive discipline. Through Excel Beyond the Bell, youth serving agencies have gained unprecedented access to program data and Excel Academy has helped dozens of agencies build higher quality relationships with those they serve, a key to strong program outcomes. 

Working alongside many other contributors, our collective has helped the larger San Antonio community to deepen its commitment to racial equity. We were among the first communities in the country to commit to an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, we have set a shared North Star of attaining 70% postsecondary enrollment for our high school graduates by 2030, a goal that will help to uproot longstanding racial, ethnic, economic, and geographic disparities.

Together we’ve helped bring tens of millions of new dollars to the table to support young people. This has happened through: multi-million dollar increases in how the city funds youth violence prevention, a dedicated $10 million youth recovery fund through ARPA, $4 million in new community grants we’ve facilitated through Blue Meridian Partners, and $14 million in gifts we’ve helped shape through the Corporate Partners for Racial Equity in partnership with the San Antonio Area Foundation and the United Way. 

Importantly, we haven’t settled for just using our own voices. We have prepared young people for future waves of advocacy. This was initially accomplished by revitalizing the San Antonio Youth Commission and more recently through youth-led research, policy training, grantmaking, and storytelling in conjunction with partners such as SAY Sí.

Collectively, we have treated the unknown as a stepping stone to discovering what’s possible. As a result, we have found new ways of leading together, built a movement that is now more unified than ever, and many of us have made close new friendships along the way. 

The next phase of our work will be anchored by the Future Ready Bexar County Plan, which supports our new bold North Star goal. This plan is backed by nearly seventy institutions, including local government departments, school districts, universities, non profits, and funders. These partners have all made explicit commitments to scaling Healing instead of punishment, Access instead of disconnection, and Voice instead of isolation, the must HAVEs for our young people to shine.  

Today, so many leaps later, I am proud to walk alongside so many of you brilliant community champions. Thank you all for your dedication to this work and for allowing UP Partnership and myself to support along the way. I am excited to continue leaping forward together and, in so doing, breaking down the walls that separate us.

In very serious cahoots,

Ryan Lugalia-Hollon

Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio partners reconnect in person at the network’s annual summit

Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio partners reconnect in person at the network’s annual summit

The weather may have been a little muggy, but the atmosphere was a breath of fresh air at the May 26 Excel Beyond the Bell (EBBSA) annual summit. Held at the Good Samaritan Center, the summit allowed EBBSA partners to gather, talk, laugh, and participate in team building activities. It was a sight not seen since early 2020.

With more than 80 partners in attendance, the event was UP Partnership’s first in-person event since the start of the pandemic.

EBBSA partners expressed a deep desire for reconnecting after experiencing more than a year of disconnection with their colleagues, partners and friends. So, the EBBSA Training and Capacity work group decided it was time to come together again.

The Big Picture: EBBSA is an UP Partnership professional network of youth development organizations working in partnership with local school districts to make San Antonio a place where all young people have access to the tools and relationships they need to succeed. Through the power of data sharing, collaboration, and advocacy the network supports the expansion of youth development programs and access.
The annual brings together its 45 youth development partners to celebrate the wins of the previous year and build relationships to further their mutual goal in strengthening youth development.

From the Field: Partners in attendance ranged from community leaders and youth-serving organizations to educational institutions and youth development programs.

  • Partners gathered together to reconnect and engage in development activities. Many attendees shared that “the opportunity to participate and collaborate together in team activities was a breath of fresh air.”
  • Using Open Space structure, attendees brainstormed ideas, helped each other by sharing best practices, strategized, and connected on a deeper level.
  • This year’s summit also marked the launch of the Excel Academy’s 2021 cohort applications. The Excel Academy focuses on professional development using the Search Institute’s Developmental Relationships framework.

“The Developmental Relationships framework is critical to the work youth development professionals provide to young people. One activity we used at the summit called concentric circles was a way to bring people closer by sharing thoughts and values with each other from philosophical questions that were asked. Many emotions were experienced as I watched people interact: Crying, laughter, joy.”

-liz moseley

Senior Manager of Community Learning

What’s next: As we collectively transition into an “in-person” world again, the EBBSA Annual Summit set a powerful precedent for in-person events in UP Partnership’s near future. The power of collaboration, relationship, and connectivity were on full display at the summit and the partnership looks forward to slowly moving towards having more of these events in the coming months.

Excel Academy Cohort 2 applications are open between June 1 – July 29 to any EBBSA network partner. In August 2021, 15 agencies will be announced for the second cohort.

Learn more about the Developmental Relationships Framework
Learn more about Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio

excel beyond the bell logo

The Excel Academy launches 2021 cohort applications: The transformative power of relationship development and youth empowerment

Excel Academy launches 2021 cohort applications

At May’s annual summit, the Excel Beyond the Bell (EBBSA) network launched its 2021 Excel Academy Application. In the Fall of 2021, EBBSA and UP Partnership will launch its second 10-month cohort of youth development professionals committed to transforming lives of young people through relationships.

“It’s not the soccer ball, or the paint brushes, or the instrument that changes the life; it’s the coach, teacher, [or] mentor that does,” said Francisco Gónima, Excel Academy facilitator and coaching partner.

Excel Academy aims to change young San Antonians’ lives through the power of Developmental Relationships

MORE THAN A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE

“[Excel Academy] goes deeper to focus on the power of developing key relationships to empower youth,” Gónima adds. 

According to members in the first cohort, Excel Academy equipped them with tools to build upon even in their own personal relationships. Excel Academy integrates coaching sessions, cross-network collaboration, and reinforces key practices with organizational leadership and staff.

Each organization that participates in the 10-month program brings an integration champion and a youth development coach.

THE BENEFITS OF EXCEL ACADEMY 

Partners become part of a network of San Antonio youth development professionals focused on acquiring the capacity, tools, and resources needed to build and foster high-quality relationships with students in their programs.  

“The real change happens through connection, and embedding developmental relationships at the core of these programs,” Gónima said. 

Built on the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets Framework, partners focus on five key elements of transformative relationships:

  • Express Care
  • Challenge Growth
  • Provide Support
  • Share Power
  • Expand Possibilities

 The Search Institute identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Excel Academy focuses on these, ensuring that more San Antonio youth have access to the relationships they need to succeed.

Additionally, Academy participants go through:

  • Ten (monthly) half-day sessions
  • Monthly coaching meet-ups
  • Ten 1-hour coaching webinars

TESTIMONIALS FROM THE FIELD: 

Previous participants agreed that the Academy created a safe space for them to grow, brainstorm, strategize, and expand DR efforts in their organizations. The Academy was both enriching and fulfilling at many levels, according to a number of Cohort 1 participants.

“More than feeling safe, it’s about feeling seen. It’s about learning how to do the work to achieve their potential. The reality is not all youth development programs are created equal – this Academy is the magic elixir to create a program that empowers young people with the confidence they need to be successful,” Gónima said.

A special congratulations to the first cohort of partners for completing the first step of transformative program. They have moved to the implementation phase of the program and have set a powerful precedent for the 2021 cohort! 

Cohort 2 applications are open between June 1 – July 29 to any EBBSA network partner. In August 2021, 15 agencies will be announced for the second cohort.

Learn more about the Developmental Relationships Framework
Learn more about Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio

excel beyond the bell logo

UP Partnership’s Equitable Enrollment Collaborative closes out its first academic year of work with commitments to equity in 2021-2022

UP Partnership's Equitable Enrollment Collaborative closes out its first year

The Equitable Enrollment Collaborative (EEC), a community of practice between Diplomás and My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio (MBKSA) partners, closed out its first year at the spring convening on May 13. 

With more than 80 partners across Bexar County, this collaborative focuses explicitly on equitable enrollment practices for young men of color and Dreamers by providing a tailored space for institutional partners to learn, collaborate, and strategize.

DIGGING DEEPER: To accomplish the overarching goal of equity across institutions, the EEC has identified a number of priorities and objectives for partner institutions. 

The EEC prioritizes its strategies and initiatives around:

  • Enrollment: Increase postsecondary enrollment from underrepresented districts and student groups.
  • Data: Strengthen institutional capacity to analyze and share data.
  • Equity: Develop and enhance equity-focused plans in the institution.

Institutions aim to:

  • Assess current enrollment goals, partnerships and strategies;
  • Develop a strategic enrollment framework to align goals;
  • Review and Revise funding initiatives and policy structures;
  • Monitor real-time application and financial aid data;
  • Build data infrastructure to strengthen data-sharing.

STRATEGIES IN ACTION: As partners celebrated during the spring convening, they acknowledged that a lot of work still needs to be done the next three years of the EEC, starting this summer.

“[We’re] setting a goal for interventions to support at-risk students,” one partner said in their commitment.

Each partner was asked to make a summer commitment and one for the next academic year. Additionally, partners at ISDs and higher education institutions highlighted specific projects and ideas, including mentorship programs, student workshops and enrichment opportunities.

“[We’ll] continue to establish strong relationships and communication to ensure we are meeting student needs,” said another.