SVP San Antonio hosted former City Manager Sheryl Sculley at the April meeting where she outlined key areas for our focus as philanthropists for the coming years. Her comments strengthen our commitment to supporting programs for children and youth in at-risk environments.
In her role as manager, Sculley oversaw public funding for more than 75 agencies that addressed key issues that San Antonio families face. She reported that students who started in the Pre-K 4 SA classes outperformed those in other pre-k programs across the city. However, she cautioned that more work needs to be done.
“When we voted in 2012, we wanted to see that we made a difference,” Sculley said. When Pre-K 4 SA began, it was implemented for 4000 students, with no more than 18 in a classroom, taught by master certified teachers. Parents also have access to resources and job training or education training. The City had a grant program for 3,000 for education and other child development providers. “But as one of the fastest growing cities, we have 5,000 more who still have no access to early childhood education,” she noted.
Sculley has demonstrated she is a strong supporter in education for all children so they all have a chance at prosperity. The Pre-K 4 SA program gives them an early start and better success rate for finishing school, and gong on to another program, either college or other training.
Another great area of need in San Antonio is to develop programs and education training for an estimated 30,000 young people in San Antonio who are not in school or working.
“That is a big number for any city,” Sculley said. In response, this February, the City piloted a program called The Reengagement Center which partners with the Parks and Recreation Department, City libraries, courts, SAPD and Human Resources who are leading these efforts. The goal is to connect them to GED or job training status especially in hard to fill jobs like technology. Education in these areas are critical and we are in competition with other cities for these good jobs.
“Anything we can do to support the future workers is time and money well spent,” she noted.
When asked what her next steps will be, she said she plans to take some time off and has not plans yet.
We expect to see Sheryl working to make a difference wherever she is every day, whether that be teaching future leaders, planning positive change and joining in conversations that creates positive change.