YMLA student Andrew gives a tour and demonstrates the classes rolling chairs to management analyst at Fort Sam Houston Willie White. Photo by Scott Ball.
Andrew, a YMLA student, gives a tour of his school to Fort Sam Houston Management Analyst Willie White. Credit: San Antonio Report file photo

The effectiveness of Communities in Schools (CIS) San Antonio continues to inspire investment from and partnerships with businesses across the city. AT&T, who has partnered with CIS before, will expand its giving to $500,000 this year.

Last year AT&T gave $134,000 to CIS San Antonio as part of a $4.5 million investment in the program nationwide.

The expanded gift will go toward funding site coordinators at Lanier, Lee, Roosevelt, Southwest, and McCollum high schools. AT&T will formally announce the gift in an announcement at McCollum.

The grant will be awarded through the AT&T Aspire program, a nationwide search for “best-in-class” programs aimed at helping underserved kids graduate from high school. The communications giant set a goal of giving $350 million between 2008-2017. This year, CIS San Antonio is one of 30 award recipients, which include schools, school districts, and other nonprofits.

Christopher Cortez, Communities in Schools site coordinator at Lanier HS. Photo by Bekah McNeel
Christopher Cortez, Communities in Schools site coordinator at Lanier HS. Credit: Bekah McNeel for the San Antonio Report

CIS chapters across the country have received AT&T Aspire grants due to common interests and their close alignment in goals. Helping students graduate on time and prepare for college and career trajectories pose multifaceted challenges, and over time CIS has evolved to meet them. Site coordinators tailor solutions to accommodate students’ limitations and needs so that they can overcome barriers particular to graduating. Their relationship and community-based approach have made CIS an ideal partner for diverse initiatives with public and private entities.

In San Antonio, CIS partners with VIA, the San Antonio Food Bank, H-E-B, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and more. In addition to funding, CIS mobilizes community partners to address the hunger, illness, and transportation hurdles facing students from low-income areas.

Bekah McNeel is a native San Antonian. You can also find her at her blog, FreeBekah.com, on Twitter @BekahMcneel, and on Instagram @wanderbekah.