Dear Business Partner:
In San Antonio, our greatest challenge as a community is the educational attainment levels of our citizens. It is no secret that the cities that will compete in the next century will be those cities that are known for their brainpower. Currently, San Antonio has among the fewest adult college graduates of any major U.S. city. But a history of high dropouts and low college attainment is not our destiny. Together, we can reverse those numbers and build a bright future for our youth and our city. Today, we have more than 100,000 students enrolled in college, and I have made a pledge to increase that number to 150,000 over five years.
The business community plays a critical role connecting youth to careers and helping them determine the educational path needed to achieve their dreams. My office is championing an effort called Inspire U, which directly connects teens to jobs and college.
If your company is currently mentoring students, I applaud your effort. If not, I would ask for you to consider implementing Inspire U in your workplace. Adapted from a pilot program developed by CPS Energy, Inspire U is one of my initiatives to help youth graduate from high school and enroll in higher education. Inspire U connects youth to business mentors, beginning as early as seventh grade and continuing through high school. The program encourages the mentor to serve as an adult sounding board for a students career exploration and college application. Business partners include CPS Energy, Rackspace, H-E-B, SAWS, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP,
University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M University, State Rep.
Office of Mike Villarreal and Poteet Architects, and Offices of Mayor Julian Castro and City Council, who collectively are mentoring nearly
217 students. By the end of the 2010-2011 school year, we hope to offer mentoring to 500 students. To reach that goal, we need your help.
Implementing this program is easy because my office will provide you with everything that you need including the training materials, curriculum, activities, resources, and evaluations. Because the program combines job shadowing and mentoring, students travel to the workplace. Mentors need only commit to nine mentoring sessions annually to participate in the program.
You will also have support and training from our partners, Communities In Schools and Big Brothers Big Sisters, two experienced agencies when it comes to mentoring and drop-out prevention. Your mentors will benefit from greater job satisfaction and a chance to give back to the community. You will be able to showcase your careers as well as improve your corporate citizenship ranking and image.
Thank you for considering this life-changing program. I believe that together we can forge a brighter future for the youth of San Antonio. I encourage you to contact my office to set up a meeting on Inspire U. You may contact Sarah McLornan in my office at 207-8998 or Sarah.McLornan@sanantonio.gov for more information.
Mayor Julián Castro
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