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Free Tuition Near A Reality



In the event you missed the news back in the spring, free tuition is becoming closer to a reality in the Alamo City.

A blue ribbon roster of local business, education, and non-profit leaders gathered in April for their first meeting as the steering committee for the Alamo Colleges District’s AlamoPROMISE initiative.

The district is working collaboratively with the city and county to make the concept of AlamoPROMISE a reality. AlamoPROMISE will provide the first two years of college at one of the Alamo Colleges District’s five colleges to eligible students who plan to earn an associate degree or certifications, take courses for transfer or complete workforce training. 

AlamoPROMISE will provide a last-dollar scholarship, funded with support from public and private sector partners and foundations, to fill the gap between a student’s financial aid award and the cost of tuition and fees for the first two years of college at one of the district’s five colleges. AlamoPROMISE also incorporates comprehensive student support services, from career exploration and advising to connections to social services and student advocacy centers. This support, which is provided to all Alamo Colleges District students, will address transportation and childcare costs, food insufficiency and other barriers students face in completing college.

Chairing the committee are Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Alamo Colleges District Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores. They are joined on the committee by:

  • Kevin Voelkel, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing  Texas
  • Peter John Holt, CEO, Holt Cat
  • Jeff Goldhorn, Executive Director, Education Service Center Region 20
  • Richard Perez, President/CEO, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
  • Diane Sanchez, President/CEO, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Cynthia Matson, President, Texas A&M University – San Antonio
  • Taylor Eighmy, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Ryan Ludgalia-Hollon, Executive Director, Up Partnership
  • Lloyd Verstuyft, Superintendent, Southwest ISD
  • Pedro Martinez, Superintendent, San Antonio ISD
  • Brian Woods, Superintendent, Northside ISD
  • Jeanette Ball, Superintendent, Judson ISD
  • Kate Rogers, Outreach and Civic Engagement, Charles Butt Foundation
  • Rebecca Brune, President, San Antonio Area Foundation
  • Romanita Matta-Barrera, Executive Director, SA Works

All of the chairs were encouraged and enthused about the program and the partnerships. 

“With AlamoPROMISE, we will impact not only our students and their families, but the larger community as well,” said Flores. “We will make a college education possible for a larger percentage of high school graduates and address regional workforce needs by providing more graduates who have the skills to qualify for the high-demand, high-wage jobs that often go unfilled in one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”

“AlamoPROMISE is a transforming initiative for San Antonio students, said Wolff. “It will lift the barriers allowing Bexar County students an opportunity to obtain the best in skill training and education,” he added.

“The AlamoPROMISE will be truly transformative for our city,” said Nirenberg. “Tuition-free community college through a last-dollar scholarship is a game-changer for workforce and economic development. Today’s steering committee meeting was productive and TeamSA is all working together to make this promise a reality,” he added.

Steering Committee members were invited to learn first-hand about the Tennessee Promise program and how its success can be replicated for AlamoPROMISE.

At the Alamo Colleges District, high quality education and affordable costs provide exceptional value to students and alumni who are major contributors to the economy and culture of our community. For more information, go to 



Black Educators Conference Comes to San Antonio



Educators looking to grow, network, advance professionally, stay informed of legislative initiatives impacting education policy and current 21st century best educational practices are encouraged to attend the premier educational summit known as the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE) State Conference.

San Antonio, Texas has been designated to host this conference, February 20-23, at Hyatt Regency River Walk located at 123 Losoya St. This year’s conference theme is Empowering Educational Excellence through Equity. This conference will provide excellent learning opportunities designed to meet the needs of every educator and is the premier professional development conference for educators.

This conference will unite hundreds of state superintendents, elected officials, central office leaders and teachers.

“We have some outstanding district and campus leaders slated to present,” TABSE President Dr. Kimberly McLeod said. “Districts and schools that have experienced academic success with children of color or low socio-economic status will share their journey to meeting Texas Education Agency accountability standards.”

In addition, there will be career institutes for educational professionals who aspire to be principals, athletic directors or superintendents. TABSE proudly boasts of placing more than 10 superintendents and other educational and campus leaders around the state of Texas who have been trained through the TABSE career institutes.

Additionally, TABSE’s legislative institute has promoted individuals to local and state board positions and have trained them in understanding contributing to educational policy and implementation.

This annual conference is an opportunity that comes once a year to unite and equip educational professionals with a skillset, knowledge base and network to propel them to new professional and experiential heights.

Educators do not want to miss this learning opportunity, so, for more information, visit for additional conference information.

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Champion For A Cause



Serena Williams is Building Schools in Jamaica and Various African Nations 

Nationwide — More than just a tennis champion, Serena Williams has always been a champion for a cause. Through the Serena Williams Fund, new schools are being built in Jamaica and in various countries on the African continent.

Williams, who has a total of 39 Grand Slam titles under her belt, recently built the Marsh Elementary School in Jamaica in conjunction with the nonprofit Helping Hands Jamaica. Schools on the African continent were also built in partnership with Build Africa.

Prior to that, Williams already established grade schools in other African countries including Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

Those efforts were part of Williams’ mission through her own non-profit organization called Serena Williams Fund “to promote equity; through education, gender, race, disability, or anything else that stands in the way of someone achieving their goals and living their best possible life.”

“The mission of this charity is to help the individuals or communities affected by to violence, and [to ensure] equal access to education,” Williams said in a statement.

According to Borgen Magazine, the sports superstar “has done extraordinary tasks using her own resources and through partnerships with the Serena Williams Fund and other foundations dedicated to providing and improving education for those in difficult conditions or developing countries. Her active role has notably left a mark on those who have had their lives changed significantly through this act of kindness.”

Williams, who is named as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador, also founded Serena Ventures which aims to invest in early-stage companies to give them wider opportunities to grow.

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Financial Literacy And Discipline



New Financial Literacy Curriculum Teaches Black Youth How to Invest in the Stock Market

Nationwide — Black Wallstreeter Consultation Services is now offering a financial literacy curriculum for youth. The primary purpose of the curriculum is to provide financial education and discipline at an early age, thereby possibly decreasing the wealth gap for future generations. The curriculum is titled Junior Wallstreeters: Empowering Youth with Financial Wellness.

Wallstreeter’s curriculum is very different compared to other financial literacy lessons. Their lessons will provide the following: 1) an introduction to financial literacy concepts; 2) tools on starting and running an investment club; and 3) investing in the stock market. One of the lessons will incorporate Kevon and Kamari Chisolm’s ebook titled Financial Legacy: Building Wealth Through Investment Clubs.

The inclusion of the investment club portion is the main difference of their curriculum. In this section, they teach students to apply the financial information by investing in the stock markets. Students learn how to become investors in some of the popular brands that they currently use including Nike, Timberland and McDonalds. The curriculum is currently being used at Vance High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Next summer, Black Wallstreeter Consultation Services is planning on offering Junior Wallstreeter Camps, which will use the same curriculum mentioned above.

For additional information about incorporating this curriculum in your classroom, after school program or if you have a location for a summer camps, please contact Kevon L. Chisolm, Esq. at 571-236-1471 or visit

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