Mayor realizes dream with opening of college access center
With a symbolic toss of graduation caps, 100 area students celebrated the official grand opening of
Café College following a ceremony involving Mayor Julián Castro, business and
community leaders, educators and other guests. The new center, funded by the City of San Antonio and managed by the San Antonio Education Partnership, had its first full day of service on Tuesday, September 28.
Mayor Castro greeted the grand opening crowd enthusiastically, noting that the new center brings to reality one of his cornerstone projects for San Antonio’s education future.
"Our schools have a challenging student
to counselor ratio of 420-to-1," Mayor Castro said. "This center
aims to fill in the gaps by providing information, technology
resources and test preparation courses to better prepare
students to enter college and ultimately create a stronger
brainpower community in San Antonio." The City’s commitment to Café College
is rooted in its strong collaboration with the San Antonio
Education Partnership and its legacy of investing in students’
higher education by providing scholarships to high school and
college students,” said City Manager Sheryl Sculley.
Café College will offer free guidance to San Antonians preparing for and
applying to the higher education institution of their choice. Trained staff will work with middle school through senior high school students, parents and guardians and stopouts—college students who for one reason or another stopped attending college before completing their course plans. Assistance for transfer students and Spanish-speaking visitors will
also be provided. A companion website,
cafécollege.org, offers virtual assistance.
The new college center, located at 131 El Paso Street in the heart of downtown
San Antonio, is a city-owned building
which was renovated with numerous green-building features,
including numerous recycled materials and a rainwater collection
Café College features 5,500 square feet of meeting rooms as well as big
screen televisions, a lounge area, a coffee bar, computer
stations and WiFi throughout the building, making it a
welcoming, comfortable place for students and their parents to
The Café College re-design was completed by RVK Architects. The Sabinal
Group performed the interior finish-out.
“We have anxiously awaited this day as preparations have been taking
place since the funding for the center was announced last
February,” says San Antonio Education Partnership Executive
Director Judy McCormick.“ Our programs are in place. Now, all we need are students
who want to take advantage of this free service,” she added.
Café College will be open Tuesday through Friday,
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. For more information, call 207-5428.
Antonio Education Partnership is a nonprofit
organization celebrating more than twenty years of providing key
services and college scholarships to at-risk high school
students who meet high attendance and academic requirements. The
program is a partnership of the City of
San Antonio, the corporate community,
eight school districts serving 25 area high schools, local
colleges/universities, Communities Organized for Public Service
(COPS) and Metro Alliance. Since 1989, over $16 million dollars
in scholarships have been awarded to students attending local
colleges and universities.