InspireU began in 2008 as a partnership between the San Antonio Mayor's Office, mentoring organizations and businesses for the purpose of recruiting business people to mentor middle school students. The program was initially patterned after CPS Energy's Connecting The Dots Job Shadowing Program (CTD). Begun in 2007, the program paired employees with 13 at-risk students from Edison High School in the San Antonio Independent School District to encourage students to graduate from high school and pursue higher education.
Read the Mayor's Message about Inspire U.
"While the educational attainment rate is at an all time low, research points to mentoring as an effective youth intervention strategy." Read More about Mentoring Effectiveness.
Find out more about the program, Contact Inspire U sponsors.
In 2009, shortly after taking office, Mayor Julián Castro and his administration asked CPS Energy to lend its curriculum and materials to other companies to expand mentoring opportunities throughout the community. Today 50 companies are mentoring more than 1,000 students through a collaboration between Big Brothers Big Sisters and Communities in Schools-San Antonio (CIS-SA).
In the spring of 2009, Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas started their first InspireU program with employees from Rackspace who were matched to children from Ed White Middle School. That same year, CIS-SA hired a curriculum consultant to develop additional materials. In 2010, with the help of University of Texas at San Antonio professor and mentoring expert Dr. Michael Karcher, InspireU developed an evaluation process to measure outcomes.
Today, this one-on-one, face-to-face developmental mentoring program administered by Big Brothers Big Sisters and Communities In Schools provide students with workplace exposure, career awareness, college prep and preparing a post high school plan.
The relationships and workplace exposure offered in the InspireU program have proven to not only improve youth attendance, grades and behaviors but data collected from school counselors also shows students who are mentored had better standardized test scores. For example, based on teacher evaluations, as well as standardized test scores, the students mentored by JPMorgan Chase employees during the 2010-2011 school year met and surpassed program expectations.