UP Partnership receives two prestigious designations 

SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 14, 2019) – More San Antonio high school students are attending school regularly and passing Algebra II, thanks to a network of non-profits dedicated to helping area students succeed.

Those and other successes have contributed to two national designations for UP Partnership, a San Antonio network of community partners dedicated to helping prepare all area students for a successful future.

Excel Beyond the Bell (EBBSA) is one of four community action networks under the umbrella of UP Partnership, a collective of 175 community partners working on the common mission of ensuring all young people across Bexar County are ready for the future.

EBBSA coordinates with various non-profit organizations to provide out-of-school care with a defined curriculum, homework support and structured play to 75,000 students throughout San Antonio. Students participating in EBBSA programs are much less likely to be chronically absent (4 percent of EBBSA students, compared to 13 percent of non-EBBSA youth) and are much more likely to pass Algebra II, with 86 percent of EBBSA students passing, compared to only 68 percent of non-EBBSA students.

In addition, area high school graduation rates have risen from 80 percent to 90 percent from 2011 to 2017, with the help of EBBSA and other non-profit organizations within a framework of youth education programs.

EBBSA’s successes contributed to UP Partnership receiving the two national designations from StriveTogether, a national non-profit network that brings together high-quality community-based organizations across the nation to improve the success of every child from cradle to career.

“These achievements fulfill a long-range goal of our organization set years ago by our board of directors,” said Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, executive director of UP Partnership. “They represent the hard work of not only our partners, staff and board, but also the entire San Antonio community, which has been driving toward greater educational outcomes for many years, well before the founding of our organization in 2008.”

Following a rigorous summer assessment process, StriveTogether awarded the UP Partnership the Systems Change and Proof Point designations.

The Systems Change designation means that UP Partnership operates at a very high level of rigor as well as research verified best practices through their collective impact. The Proof Point designation means that due to the efforts of UP Partnership and its 175+ community partners, there has been a remarkable and measurable improvement in four key cradle-to-career outcomes in Bexar County, since UP Partnership began tracking data in 2012. 

Out of the 67 communities that are part of the national StriveTogether network, UP Partnership is only the 13th to reach these significant designations.  The Area Foundation founded EBBSA in 2012.

“Over the past seven years, we have invested nearly $700,000 in Excel Beyond the Bell and its evidence-based efforts to provide quality out-of-school time to ensure 75,000 youth have every opportunity to succeed. We are honored to have been a part of their journey to these designations, while celebrating youth outcomes of increased school attendance and passing rates for Algebra II under Excel Beyond the Bell’s efforts,” said Marjie M. French, chief executive officer at the San Antonio Area Foundation.

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