Meet UP Partnership’s Finance and Operations Team

Meet UP Partnership's Finance and Operations team

UP Partnership’s Finance and Operations team works to advance the organization’s finance, technology, human resources and operational systems, to ensure sustainable organizational operations as the organization aims to achieve its mission of ensuring all young people in Bexar County are ready for the future.

The team shares responsibility for the internal systems needed for organizational operation so all of the team is rooted in UP Partnership’s values, engaged in as a team in our collective work and have the capacity needed to drive impact.The team spearheading finance and operations consists of Brandon Henson, Director of Finance and Operations, J’Shcarla Adkins, Senior Manager of Finance and Operations, Patrick Farris, Manager of Development and Grants. Rodnekka Hall, Human Resources Manager of Training and Development, and Kristen Kitler, Human Resources Manager of Team Success.

Get to know the K12 & Postsecondary Team

Brandon Henson is originally from central Illinois before moving to southwest Missouri to attend college. He enjoyed an early, successful career as a “sideman” musician — a musician who steps in and performs with other musicians when needed. He moved to San Antonio in 2012 to join the team at Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. It was here that he met his wife and they have a three-year-old son and newborn baby boy. As he says, “While I’m not a native Texan, I married one, and I am raising one.”

As the most recent member of UP Partnership’s Finance and Operations team, the ability to build equitable community transformation is what drew Brandon to the work. In his role, he will provide support to the UP Partnership team through financial management and efficient operational strategies. 

His advice to all is simply “Be kind.”

J’Shcarla Adkins loves, encourages and uplifts her family and friends. She has been married for 25 years (and counting) and shares three pretty cool adult kids with her husband, she said. While she was born in New York, and lived in California and Nebraska, she has enjoyed her time in Texas the most.

She was drawn to the work of UP Partnership because she wanted to be part of an organization that works to encourage, uplift and provide opportunities for the youth in San Antonio. In her position, she oversees the operations of the organization, as well as managing budgeted expenses and activities. She reports to Brandon Henson and works with Kimberly Sama, Chief Finance and Operations Officer, to ensure financial sustainability for the organization.
Her advice to all is to not “be afraid to ask questions because the more you know; the more you grow!”

Patrick Farris is originally from Houston, but has lived in San Antonio for fifteen years. He spends his free time reading, gardening and being outdoors. He tries to fix things around his house but admits it isn’t always successful or timely. He enjoys good conversations, slow songs, spending time with close friends and thinking deeply about his life and the world.

With a diverse professional background, including an English educator for a refugee resettlement program, leading student volunteer teams and facilitating student leadership development at universities, he was drawn to UP Partnership’s work at the systems level that is building a citywide ecosystem that supports impact. In his position, he seeks funding opportunities for UP Partnership such as grants, and he communicates the impact of UP Partnership’s work in the community through our three systems change networks, our three collaboratives, and, when relevant, the work of our partnership institutions.

His advice to all is to “stay curious.”

Rodnekka Hall is a mom and motivator. She joined UP Partnership in 2016 to help launch our systems change network, My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio, but has since grown into a variety of positions within the company, such as Community Engagement and Capacity Building Manager, Project Coordinator, Human Resources Coordinator, and Special Projects and Process Development Manager. 

In her current position she leads and designs continuous learning and professional development systems including training, coaching and supervision, onboarding and re-boarding staff, facilitating training and teambuilding opportunities and is a coach in UP Partnership’s Excel Academy, which is anchored in our system change network Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio.

Her advice to all is to “never give up.”

Kristen Kitler was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and joined the Navy in 2014. As she started to serve our country, she ended up in the state of Washington for eight years where she developed a passion for hiking and the outdoors. The military provided her with many opportunities to volunteer within the community she was stationed in, as well as internally while on deployment.

It was those volunteer opportunities that she found the most enjoyable and is grateful for the opportunity to work at UP Partnership and continue to help those in her community. In her position she oversees the organization’s recruitment, interviewing, selection and hiring process, while administering employee-related services such as benefits and payroll.

Her advice to all is “life is short; find your happiness.”

If your organization is ready to join in on the Future Ready movement, please contact to find out more information on how you can become a Future Ready partner or donate to the work.

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Meet UP Partnership’s K12 & Youth Development team

Meet UP Partnership's K12 & Youth Development team

UP Partnership’s K12 and Youth Development team collaborates with community partners to strengthen the student experience for young people in Bexar County using SEARCH Institute’s Developmental Relationships as the framework with a racial equity lens. 

Specifically, the team leads the Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio (EBBSA) network and Excel Academy, a leadership program for youth development professionals focusing on racial equity, continuous improvement, and Search Institute’s Developmental Relationships FrameworkEBBSA works with various youth development organizations to develop high quality standards for youth serving programs. This is one step toward ensuring that all young people in Bexar County have access to the development relationships they need to succeed.

EBBSA’s Northstar directive co-developed with these partner organizations is that by 2030, the network will have substantially increased access to high quality youth development programs from the current baseline (to include dedicated focus on out of school time) with a focus on partnerships that meet targeted needs.

Throughout the Excel Academy program, youth-serving professionals learn and create an implementation plan to better connect and build transformative relationships throughout their organization and with those they serve.

The team spearheading the work of EBBSA and the Excel Academy consists of liz moseley Director of K12 and Youth Development, Shelby Drayton, Senior Manager of Coaching and Facilitation, and Sarah Hinojosa, Manager: Community Engagement.

Get to know the K12 & Youth Development Team

liz moseley was drawn to collective impact work because they believe in “working for the liberation of everyone and the power of the beloved community to create spaces of transformation.”

“As a queer BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and/or person of color], I have spent my entire career empowering young people and educators to change the world,” moseley said.

They graduated summa cum laude from The University of Texas at San Antonio as a first generation student with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies.

In their freetime, liz enjoys creating art using wood, stained glass, and clay mediums; reading and learning; and having meaningful conversations that deepen relationships.

liz offers the following advice to all:
• Embrace and internalize Lucille Clifton’s poem, the lessons of the falling leaves;
• Read Kahlil Gibrand’s The Prophet as a guide to navigate various components of life;
• Spend time doing things that bring you immense joy;
• Treat others how they want to be treated; and
• “To be love, lead with love, love openly, and tell people you love them.”

Shelby Drayton is originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and attended Drexel University in Philadelphia. After graduating, she joined AmeriCorps which brought her to San Antonio.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature, or laughing in the company of friends and family.

Shelby is also involved in the San Antonio community, as a member of the Downtown Rotary Club of San Antonio serving on the social committee, service committee and co-lead of the Sam Houston High School’s Interact Club. She also sits on the board of Snack Pak 4 Kids, an organization forced on enhancing education outcomes by ending weekend hunger for children.

Shelby’s advice to all is simple — “Be yourself, love yourself, embrace yourself!”

Sarah Hinojosa grew up in San Antonio with five siblings and attended The University of Texas at San Antonio. Before joining the team, Sarah spent nine years as a teacher and two years as an assistant principal.

A few of Sarah’s favorite quotes are:
• “Only take advice from someone you would want to trade places with.”
• “The fastest way to reach a goal is slowly.”
• ” The number one reason most people fail to meet their goals is that they sacrifice what they want most for what they want now.”

For more information about Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio and the Excel Academy, please visit or donate to the work here.

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

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 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.

Meet UP Partnership’s K12 and Justice Team

Meet UP Partnership's K12 and Justice Team

UP Partnership’s K12 and Justice team works with community partners to move Bexar County’s K12 and Justice ecosystems from a punitive to restorative paradigm, as well as broadening the pathways to postsecondary success for justice-involved youth, opportunity youth and foster youth.

Specifically, the team works to establish a system with various partners to expand healing, restorative practices and the quality of programming for boys and young men of color through the My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio (MBKSA) network and the Restorative Practices Collaborative (RPC).

The mission of MBKSA is simple — to remove systematic barriers to safety, education and career success, ensuring that boys and young men of color have a path to postsecondary success. The work, however, is ongoing.

The purpose of the 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.

RPC particularly strengthens relationships and provides alternative methods of discipline practices through a comprehensive, focused, community driven strategy. The team works with long-term partners, American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions and Empower House, to deliver Community Building Circles to school districts such as Judson ISD, Harlandale ISD, San Antonio ISD and East Central ISD.

The team spearheading the work of MBKSA and RPC consists of John “JJ” Jacobs, Director of K12 and Justice, Suzette Solorzano, Senior Manager of Coaching and Facilitation, and Tyler Radwin, Manager: Community Engagement.

Get to know the K12 and Justice Team

John Jacobs “JJ” is originally from Tacoma, Washington where he grew up with four brothers including his fraternal twin. He is the son of a pastor. JJ played basketball, ran track, participated in the drama club and competed collegiately with his high school choir.

He graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies. He went on to obtain his Master’s of Science is Leadership from Northeastern University and is currently a doctoral candidate at Walden University.

Married eleven years, with a seven year old son and baby girl on the way, John enjoys eating (“too much”), traveling, singing and running.

John’s advice to all is “Good, better, best, never let it rest until the good is better and the better is best.”

In a previous life, Suzette Solorzano was an elementary school teacher for over 23 years. She is the mother of three children and has been married for 26 years. She is obsessed with thrifting, enjoys life to the fullest and she refuses to grow up.

Suzette’s advice to all is “Life is BEAUTIFUL! Live it on your own terms — you don’t get a do over.”

Tyler Radwin is the newest member of the team, having joined UP Partnership in Nov. 2022.

In his own words, “Somebody once told me I have a ‘natural love of life’ and I feel like that really embodies me. I will always be the one to find the silver lining and a reason to be grateful even when the situation is bleak. While I can’t play an instrument, music powers my life. I am listening to music every chance I get and utilize it to maintain the pace of my day.”

If Tyler could be any dinosaur he would, without any hesitation, be an Ankylosaurus because it has always resonated with him. According to Tyler, they may not be the “coolest” dinosaur but they will always be his favorite.

Learn more information about My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio and the Restorative Practices Collaborative here or donate to the work here.

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