CONTACT: Roland Martinez, (210) 207-5920
SAN ANTONIO (February 25, 2020) – In Bexar County, one in ten young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are not enrolled in school or engaged in the workplace. Perhaps surprisingly, an estimated 80 percent of those “opportunity youth” have graduated from a local high school or have a high school equivalency credential.
To help forge new pathways of opportunity for these young San Antonians, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has committed $250,000 to Alamo Colleges District’s AlamoPROMISE program, which provides last-dollar funding for students to attend one of the five Alamo Colleges. The funding also creates a pilot program for 15 “opportunity youth” to become AlamoPROMISE scholars in fall of 2020. Alamo Colleges will partner with the City of San Antonio’s NXT Level Youth Opportunity Center for this pilot.
With historically low unemployment rates in the San Antonio area, employers are struggling to find talent for job openings - particularly in key industries. This pilot is working to address the untapped talent of young adults who are now participants at the NXT Level Youth Opportunity Center and are working to further their education after a period of disconnection.
Based on research conducted by The University of Texas at San Antonio, there are over 33,000 opportunity youth in San Antonio.
“With a sizable number of youth in San Antonio not immediately going to college after high school, we have to explore the creation of educational opportunities for young adults with non-traditional pathways. That’s why this pilot for NXT Level participants to be a part of AlamoPROMISE is so important for the city’s economic growth,” said City of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
“This funding from JPMorgan Chase will be instrumental in making AlamoPROMISE a reality, so that more of our residents can have the opportunity to complete college, which will provide them with the social and economic mobility that is the key to a better future for themselves and their families,” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores. “Funding from JPMorgan Chase and other community partners is crucial to the success of this program, which also will provide for the economic prosperity of our entire community,” he added.
Carolyn Watson, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, JPMorgan Chase & Co., said, “Without the right skills or education, young people can find themselves stuck in low-skill, low-wage jobs. This partnership with Alamo College, the City’s NXT Level Youth Opportunity Center and Chase is all about investing in these young people so that they have a real shot at a better, more stable future.”
Faith Wanamaker dropped out of high school due to difficult life challenges. She became a young, single parent. The San Antonio Municipal Court referred the 21-year-old to NXT Level, which then helped her successfully apply to the AlamoPROMISE pilot program.
“Ever since I've found out about NXT level, they have been a great support team. NXT helped me find child care and a GED program. Now that I got my GED, they told me that I can go to college as part of the AlamoPROMISE. I feel like I got the keys to unlock a new chapter in my life that will lead to a better future for my family and I,” Faith stated.
The announcement was made at a press conference on Tuesday, February 25, at the Little Carver Theater, 226 N. Hackberry.
Young adults 16 to 24 years old can contact NXT Level Youth Opportunity Center to help connect them to resources to meet their personal, educational and career goals. Call 210-207-1723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.nxtlevelsa.org.