Meet UP Partnership’s Communications Team

Meet UP Partnership's Communications team

UP Partnership’s Communications team creates messaging and provides strategic marketing and communications guidance to UP Partnership staff and partners. The team coordinates an editorial calendar that shares a cohesive narrative of healing, access and voice in connection to the Future Ready Bexar County Plan using various mediums including written blogs, social media and digital strategies and outreach to traditional media.

The team spearheading the communications team consists of Jeannette Garcia, Director of Communications, Ana Sevilla, Senior Manager of Communications and Carrie Ballard-Bañuelos, Storytelling Communications Manager.

Get to know the Communications Team

Jeannette Garcia is a proud alumna of both Judson High School and the University of Texas at Austin. She is a “recovering reporter” that continues to keep a keen eye out on what the tech, manufacturing and small businesses in San Antonio are doing. A dog mom of two pups, Jeannette enjoys spending time with close friends, her mom and younger brother, as well as being an active civic leader in her community.

As a San Antonio native, Jeannette was drawn to the work of UP Partnership because she wants to help drive positive change for the future of her hometown. Earlier in her career, she fell into economic development and grew an interest in workforce development and believes that it is incredibly important to invest in young people who are the workforce of tomorrow.

Her advice to all is “Don’t bury the lead. Always lead with the news. Also, you have to continuously message the same thing to people in order for it to stick — even if you think it’s overcommunication, it probably isn’t.”

Ana Sevilla is a Texas native, and attended Texas A&M University where she earned her bachelor of arts in English. After getting her start in journalism (specifically copy editing), she transitioned into marketing and communications, with a focus on graphic design. She moved to San Antonio in 2018. Ana is fiercely dedicated towards mutual aid work and building community. She enjoys spending time with her husband and her family, chosen and otherwise, as much as possible, as well as cooking, making art, decorating cakes, reading and watching video essays. Tenchi and Zuko, her two cheddar cats, bring light and laughter to her life.

Ana was drawn to the work of UP Partnership’s focus on helping young people succeed academically through tapping into the community’s existing resources and partner organizations. In particular, the restorative justice work that helps spread necessary harm reduction techniques within San Antonio’s education landscape.

Her advice to all is remember that “Everyone is an artist! Just because you can’t draw, doesn’t mean you can’t paint, sculpt, sing, photograph or otherwise. Creation is inherent to the human experience.”

Carrie Ballard-Bañuelos was born and raised in San Antonio. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with two bachelor degrees and recently received her MBA from the University of the Incarnate Word in May of 2023. Married, she is the proud mom of two boys who keep her busy. In her free time, Carrie enjoys spending quality time with friends, reading and writing, as well as attending comic cons—a favorite family activity.

As a mom to elementary grade students, she was drawn to UP Partnership’s work toward creating equity for all young people in the community and ensuring they all have postsecondary opportunities after high school graduation. Young people are the future leaders and workforce in San Antonio, so it is important to support them through their educational journey.

Her advice to all is “Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zones. Those experiences generally lead to self evolution that can have lifetime impact. Also, always, always advocate for yourself. You know yourself better than anyone.”

Meet UP Partnership’s K12 and Postsecondary Team

Meet UP Partnership's K12 and Postsecondary team

Our K12 and Postsecondary team members are driving the work by convening our postsecondary partners as our community aims to reach the Future Ready Bexar County North Star goal of increasing enrollment in postsecondary education or credential programs to 70% by 2030.

UP Partnership’s K12 and Postsecondary team works with our partners to adopt measurable outcomes and to create strategies to achieve those outcomes.

Specifically, the team works with partners to expand equitable access to resources and programs to increase postsecondary enrollment and success through the Diplomás systems change network and the Equitable Enrollment Collaborative (EEC).

The mission of Diplomás is simple — it is a collective impact effort uniting 23 cross-sector partners to increase the college attainment and quality of life of San Antonio’s Dreamer/Latinx students. The work continues to be important and needed.

The purpose of the EEC is to dissolve barriers students often face when transitioning from K12 into postsecondary. 

Equitable Enrollment Collaborative is a space for ISDs, institutions of higher education IHEs and community-based organizations CBOs to work together to build city-wide bridges to postsecondary education that intentionally close equity gaps for all students and ensure they are ready for the future and the workforce.

The team spearheading the work of Diplomás and EEC consists of Briana Hagelgans, Ed.D., Director of K12 and Postsecondary, Lowell Butler, Ed.D., Senior Manager of Coaching and Facilitation, and Jonathan Weaver, Senior Manager of Community Engagement.

Get to know the K12 & Postsecondary Team

Briana Hagelgans, Ed.D., is a first generation college graduate and the oldest of four siblings. She is proud to say that two of her siblings have also obtained a postsecondary degree with one still in medical school. She obtained her Associates and Bachelors degrees in Business Management before she found her passion within the postsecondary field. As a first generation college graduate, Briana experienced first- hand the transformational power that a postsecondary degree holds and how it impacts not only students but their families. Briana has also earned her master’s degrees and doctorates in educational leadership and has held a variety of roles within postsecondary at the 2-year and 4-year level. Prior to her position at UP Partnership, Briana was a member of the Diplomás Network and the Equitable Enrollment Collaborative. 

Briana is an avid reader who loves to garden. One of her personal goals is to own land where she can build her homestead that has an abundance of fruit and vegetable plants, as well as an array of flowers, including native varieties. Of course, her homestead would not be complete without friendly ducks, egg-laying hens and gorgeous views in all directions.

She finds joy in cleaning, which she admits scares most people. However, for her, if she is thinking through a challenge, doing a load of dishes or laundry usually helps her work through that slump.

Briana’s advice to all is: “if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t learning.”

Lowell Butler, Ed.D. spent his early years in Louisiana before moving to the Mississippi Gulf Coast when he was a teenager. He obtained both his Associate and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. After college, he got involved in national service through Americorps where he worked on social issues ranging from integrating technology in Mississippi high schools to hunger insecurity and reducing poverty in San Antonio.

He loves all things Southern Mississippi and is always on the hunt for the best soul and New Orleans style restaurants in San Antonio. He spent last year as a Texas Education Policy Fellow, hosted by the College of Education, at Texas Tech University, and recently earned his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration.

Lowell is a McDonald’s superfan! He was unsuccessful, though, in getting a McDonald’s meal named after him, which he called the McLB that includes two plain McDoubles, large fries, large Hi-C Orange and BBQ sauce.

His advice to all is: “we really need to understand and fully accept that the young people of today are our future consumers and producers of all our goods and services, whether it is education, housing, employment, etc. Intergenerational conflict occurs because we expect young people to engage in systems, have the same motivators, definitions of success, and even the same challenges as we did. When they don’t, they’re penalized or denigrated. This leads to disconnection. It’s time for new models, new ways of thinking that are informed by young people, and that’s what Future Ready is about!”

Jonathan Weaver was born and raised on San Antonio’s south and southeast sides of town. He is the product of San Antonio ISD, having graduated from Fox Tech’s Law Magnet program in 2010. He continued his education at the University of Texas at San Antonio, obtaining a bachelor degree in Global Affairs.

Having always known that he wanted to serve his community, Jonathan has worked in the nonprofit sector for almost 10 years. He previously worked in various organizations, but it wasn’t until his time at Good Samaritan that he started to think of the inequalities that exist in our community and the systems that keep them in place, which is what drew him to UP Partnership’s work.

In his free time, Jonathan enjoys doing home improvement projects, such as plumbing, yard work, concrete, and wood work, and he also plays the drums and piano. He always likes smoking BBQ the “hard way” — burning the wood before sunrise and managing the heat over many hours. For 15 years, Jonathan has collected various Marvel items that, to this day, remain unopened.

Jonathan’s advice to all is: “do NOT waste your time or energy on what others think about you or things that make you upset. Focus on what you can control. Enjoy the small things; they often get overlooked in the present and are the things you miss once they are gone.”

For more information about Diplomás and the Equitable Enrollment Collaborative, 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 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.

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

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 Executive Assistant Rebekka Payne

Meet UP Partnership's Executive Assistant Rebekka Payne

As we celebrate Administrative Professionals’ Day, UP Partnership would like to highlight Rebekka Payne who has served as the organization’s Executive Assistant since August 2022. 

In this role, she supports the organization’s senior leadership team consisting of Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, Ph.D., CEO, Emily Calderón Galdeano, Ed.D., Chief Impact and Strategy Officer and Kimberly Sama, Chief Finance and Operations Officer, in day-to-day operations. Rebekka is also key in event organization and logistics for UP Partnership events that relate to the progress of Future Ready Bexar County, the community plan whose north star aims to increase local enrollment into postsecondary and credentialed programs to 70% by 2030. 

She has lived all around the country, including New York City, where she worked in the Empire State Building as the Director of Employment Services for people with mental and physical disabilities. Rebekka brings many professional skills to the position from her nearly 20 years of experience as an Executive Assistant.

She has an adventurous nine-year-old who loves reading her books each night; funny comic books are his favorite. In her free time, she enjoys art and is a self-taught photographer.

Rebekka offers the following advice: “Don’t be afraid of being afraid. Sometimes the one thing you need for growth is the one thing you are most afraid to do.”

For more information about UP Partnership, 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.

Advice from Rebekka Payne:

“Don’t be afraid of being afraid. Sometimes the one thing you need for growth is the one thing you are most afraid to do.”

Meet Kimberly Sama, UP Partnership’s Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Meet Kimberly Sama, UP Partnership's Chief Finance and Operations Officer

Kimberly Sama has served as the Chief Finance and Operations Officer for UP Partnership since June 2022. Since joining the organization in 2018, she has also previously led the Youth Development team before transitioning into the role of Senior Director of Investment and Sustainability in Dec. 2020.

In her current role, Kim works with her team to develop internal systems that model the “transformation [UP Partnership] aspires to achieve within our community, particularly in regard to finance, human resources, operations and development,” she said.

As a continuous improvement leader and strategic thinker, she values “integrity, autonomy, imperfect action, social justice and growth.” It was the alignment of those values and the values and mission of UP Partnership that drew her to the work she does now.

In Kim’s own words, “It is incredible to wake up everyday and realize that I get to channel my energy into work that I truly believe in,” adding that her days “are filled with heart-driven, soul-infused work, in which I find meaning greater than myself.”

Sama works with her team to develop internal systems that model the “transformation [UP Partnership] aspires to achieve within our community, particularly in regard to finance, human resources, operations and development.”

Before joining UP Partnership, Kim grew up as a “citizen of the world” living in the United States and Europe, as well as living and working in East and West Africa as a member of the Peace Corps., International Rescue Committee and Muso, a global health organization. While living internationally, she gave birth to her incredible kid in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and they lived in the Republic of Mali before they returned to San Antonio in 2014.

Kim earned her bachelor’s in French with a minor in social work at The University of Texas Austin and her master’s at St. Mary’s University. Out of work, Kim is currently reading Harvard Business Review and Economist magazines, The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor and Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown. She is currently watching Ted Lasso, Morning Show and Ms. Marvel, and enjoys listening to podcasts and various Spotify playlists.


When asked what advice she had to offer, Kim offered the following pieces of wisdom:

   • Real transformation and change takes time.

   • You are enough — the knowing is already within you, believe in yourself and lead from within.

   • True change is rooted in seeing ourselves and others in the fullness of our complexities.

   • And her son’s favorite quote from Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

If Kim could be any dinosaur, she would be a pterodactyl “because then I could fly.”


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.

UP Partnership executive chosen to be part of national leadership class by The Allstate Foundation

UP Partnership executive chosen to be part of national leadership class by The Allstate Foundation

UP’s Chief Impact and Strategy Officer, Dr. Emily Calderón Galdeano, is one of 35 leaders accepted nationally

UP Partnership’s Chief Impact and Strategy Officer, Emily Calderón Galdeano, Ed.D., will be a part of The Allstate Foundation’s Nonprofit Leadership Center Executive Leadership Program’s Class of 2023, a national leadership program aimed toward augmenting the skills of nonprofit leaders to further transform their organizations, their communities and the nonprofit sector.

Dr. Calderón Galdeano is one of the 35 leaders nationally selected to be a part of the highly selective program’s 2023 class. Leaders chosen represent a variety of nonprofit sectors roles, locations, experiences and perspectives. Dr. Calderón Galdeano is one of two nonprofit leaders from Texas that was chosen for the class.

Launched in 2014, the Executive Leadership Program is administered in partnership with the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management. Through the program, academic practitioners provide in-person training to thought-leaders through classroom training, executive coaching and peer-to-peer training. Program participants build leadership skills including personal leadership, organizational leadership and nonprofit management.

In addition, the cohort will discuss different topics such as developing high-performing teams, negotiating for mutually beneficial outcomes, guiding difficult conversations and understanding a nonprofit’s financial position.

“I look forward to bringing back ways to further transform our community as we work toward our Future Ready Bexar County Plan’s collective North Star goal,” Dr. Calderón Galdeano, said. Through the Future Ready Bexar County Plan, launched in April 2022, UP Partnership is working with a collection of partners, across varying sectors, in a collaborative effort to increase the percentage of Bexar County High School graduates enrolling in postsecondary degree or credential programs to 70% by 2030.