Living in San Antonio
The 7th most populous city in the US, San Antonio continues to grow quickly yet maintains its reputation as a large city with a small-town feel. San Antonio is known for its friendly people who welcome newcomers with open arms. San Antonio’s laid-back atmosphere contributes to this welcoming nature. An ideal place for young people, every part of San Antonio is unique and offers the opportunity to experience new things. San Antonio has a very vibrant culture and community derived from the Mexican-American population. The largest majority-Hispanic city in the nation, Hispanic culture is showcased in the region's cuisine, music and entertainment. The metro area embraces bilingualism. Nearly 40% of residents speak a second language other than English; 35% of locals speak both English and Spanish. The large Hispanic population in San Antonio is representative of the state of Texas as a whole and reflects the shifting demographics of our nation.
Why We Need You
Despite being a thriving population in a dynamic city, many students are faced with challenges. With some of the highest levels of economic segregation in the country, nearly 130,000 children in greater San Antonio currently live in poverty and experience food insecurity along with a lack of access to resources and programs that are accessible to their wealthier peers. Across San Antonio, there are 17 school districts serving over 340,000 students. 92% of students in SAISD are eligible to receive free and reduced priced lunch. City Year partners with the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). The 89 schools in SAISD serve 53,000 San Antonio students. 91% of SAISD students are Hispanic.
Low four-year graduation rates, low Math and English Language Arts proficiency rates, and chronic absenteeism are the most pressing issues facing education in SAISD. Unfortunately, across City Year's partner schools, nearly 69% percent of students are identified as being at risk of not graduating on time with their peers. Further exasperating the situation, SAISD faces challenges in attracting and retaining top quality teacher talent, high student mobility, and deteriorating school building conditions.
How You Can Make a Difference
Regardless of all obstacles, SAISD is full of supportive parents and families who are advocates for improving school conditions and creating a college-bound environment. This momentum is reflected in the SAISD’s recent efforts. The district is currently implementing innovative approaches to address teacher quality and retention by creating multiple ways to attain traditional and alternative teaching certifications in order to ensure all students are receiving a high-quality education. City Year AmeriCorps members serving in San Antonio are eligible to waive several certification requirements after completing their year of service in the classroom should they choose to pursue an alternative teaching certificate with the local state alternative certification program. Additionally, SAISD has strong partnerships with Teach for America and the Relay Graduate School of Education, both offering many opportunities to our AmeriCorps members. Further, City Year San Antonio has the backing of all sectors of the community. Major companies including Starbucks and Deloitte are eager to engage with our AmeriCorps members and recognize the value of the AmeriCorps member experience. Our AmeriCorps members receive extensive professional development trainings from Deloitte around resume writing, mock interviews, and networking.
Given the extensive issues facing both the community and education in San Antonio, City Year plays a critical role. In SAISD, City Year AmeriCorps members are uniquely contributing to ameliorating the district’s absenteeism epidemic and the outcomes driven by a high mobility rate. By serving as near-peer tutors and mentors, City Year AmeriCorps members are creating and nurturing relationships with students that make them excited about going to school and realize their innate potential. AmeriCorps members are also an extra source of support to students who experience high mobility. Our students see talented and driven young people who are deeply passionate about education, and they are motivated and inspired.
San Antonio is in high need for talented and driven young people to work with students to help them realize their full potential. Full of outdoor beauty and attractions combined with a low cost of living, San Antonio is the ultimate destination for young professionals- whether it is yoga or a movie in the park, trips to local farmer’s markets, attending cultural events and music festivals, San Antonio has something for everyone.