City South Academy's 2016-17 class. Photo courtesy of South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
City South Academy's 2016-17 class. Photo courtesy of South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

The South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce announced Monday its 2016-17 City South Leadership Academy class, a group of 25 rising local leaders that will take part in a curriculum in community-building over the next eight months.

In its 30th year, the City South Leadership Academy identifies citizens with the potential to positively impact the Southside and provides them with the information and training they need to preserve what they value in the community and to make change where it is needed.

Topics for the 2016-17 academy will include economic and community development, organizational and public relations, and volunteerism, delivered through a series of lectures and site visits throughout the Southside. Past program talks have been delivered by local CEOs and public officials at Southside institutions and businesses such as HOLT CAT, Port San Antonio, and Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

Last year’s class raised more than $4,000 to aid to students enrolling in the GED preparation program at Palo Alto College, with an additional $10,000 collected to provide college scholarships for high school graduates in south Bexar County school districts. This year’s academy class will work together to identify and develop plans for improving Southside high school graduation rates, an ongoing challenge affecting the Southside community.

Participants were selected from an “overwhelming amount of qualified applicants,” South SA Chamber President and CEO Al Arreola Jr. told the Rivard Report. Preference is given to those who demonstrate a passion for making a difference in one of the South SA Chamber’s focus areas ­– public education reform, multi-modal transportation infrastructure improvement, heritage preservation, healthcare awareness, and workforce development.

This year’s class, listed below, comprises a talented group of professionals representing a broad range of organizations in San Antonio:

“This class has already proven to show a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the Southside,” Arreola said. “We are looking forward to their contribution to our goals for public education reform.”

Top image: City South Academy’s 2016-17 class. Photo courtesy of South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

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Mason Stark

Rivard Report intern Mason Stark graduated from Trinity University in May 2016 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a minor in arts, letters, and enterprise.