Across social media, many have shared the photos of two students taking VIA to their graduation. We managed to snag this one from Councilman Rey Saldaña’s Facebook page. (Thanks for making a collage, Councilman!) KENS5 even did a follow-up story on Cierriah Adams.
Commenters celebrated the students’ accomplishments and determination, and many wanted to know how they could get them a graduation gift. It is fantastic to see the congratulatory responses and desire to do something for these students. We may not know their full stories, but we do know what the data tells us about our community: students are graduating high school in higher numbers, and are better prepared for college. After that, though, we need some help. College readiness is down, and the number of adults with college degrees is also getting worse. You can see more about the data on our dashboard here.
At SA2020, we love celebrating successes, and let’s be honest, graduation is the perfect success story. It is a celebration of perseverance and hard work, and it is a celebration of opportunity. Students’ lives stretch out before them. It’s why we participate in College Signing Day every year. Our partners in that day (including Trinity University College Advising Corps, UTSA G-Force, UT Outreach San Antonio, and San Antonio Education Partnership), work tirelessly every day to make students’ lives better, and we get to help celebrate the students whose lives they affect. Generally, of the students in the College Signing Day stadium every year, 50% of them or more are first generation college students.
But back to these two students who have managed to capture the attention of our community.
Your comments have shown us that you are excited to celebrate and support students. We thought we’d use this moment to harness the collective energy of the interwebs and point you in the direction of many organizations that would LOVE your help getting students to and through high school, and then to and through post-secondary education.
In fact, if you go to SA2020.org/partners, you have an opportunity to filter our partners by Cause Area. In this case, if the photos of these students have awakened your passion to help in education, choose Education or simply click here (we’ve done it for you).
From here, you have the opportunity to go through organizations who are proving, every single day, that they are working towards the outcomes we prioritized as a community. In fact, the only way they have become SA2020 partners is by proving their outcomes connect to the priorities our community selected. You can filter by opportunities if you want to narrow your search. We encourage you to take your time to find the organization that calls to you. SA2020 partners range from small to large organizations and cover the entire county.
Each organization has its own microsite that will give you more information on what programs it provides, which gives you even more information on how you might be able to help. Then, just as easily, you can click a button at the top of the page you’re on and “Find Out More” or “Donate.”
San Antonio’s student success is important to our entire community. Take some time to find an organization that can connect you to a young person who may need you. Become a mentor or a reading buddy. Volunteer with an arts organization that focuses on youth. Find a small organization you’ve never heard of and offer your support.
We are stronger when we work together. And since we developed these goals together, let’s all work to get ourselves there.
In other news, congratulations to these graduates and the thousands of others in our community. We can’t wait to see what you do!