Helping Students Succeed - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
Helping Students Succeed

The Challenges We Face

Not all students graduating are ready for college and/or career, many do not have stable environments conducive to learning, and there is a growing number who do not have engaged adults supporting them to reach their full potential.

  • 27 %

    (1 in 4) of third-grade students in Bexar County did not pass the STAAR reading test in school year 2021-22
  • 36 %

    (1 in 3) eighth-grade students in Bexar County did not pass the STAAR math test in school year 2021-22
  • 14.9 %

    (1 in 7) of young adults ages 16 - 24 in the San Antonio Area were neither in school nor working in 2020
  • 17 %

    of students were chronically absent

Our Work in Action

Our Successful Students Impact Council strives to ensure all young people are actively engaged in their communities, prepared for the 21st Century workforce and have resource-rich environments with prepared and engaged adults to support them in reaching their full potential.


A student’s reading level by the completion of 3rd grade is a known predictor of a student’s academic performance and whether they will graduate on time. At United Way, we are working in increase the number of diverse reading programs for children that provide individualized learning, engaging topics and continuous monitoring to guide these young students to reading success.


Eighth grade math proficiency is another benchmark that predicts high school graduation and college readiness. At United Way, we are increasing the number of engaging, culturally appropriate, innovative and relevant STEAM activities for youth in grades 5-8.


Thousands of Bexar County youth ages 16-24 are “opportunity,” which means they are not actively engaged in school or the workplace to help them realize their academic or life potential. At United Way, we are working to connect vulnerable youth (including economically disadvantaged youth, those with disabilities and/or are homeless) with creative, high-quality re-engagement programs and support services such as community health workers, promotoras (the Spanish term for community health workers), home visiting programs and out-of-school time programs to guide the futures of these young people on a more positive and rewarding path.


Chronic absenteeism reduces reading and math progress and decreases educational and social engagement. Students with few resources at home benefit the most from being in school every day. At United Way, we’re providing support to students who have received 10 or more unexcused absences by creating an innovative “transition camp” for youth entering middle or high school. Support is also provided to students and guardians to overcome obstacles to school attendance such as health conditions, mental illness, housing instability, and lack of transportation.


Many types of behavior detract from learning and keep our students from doing well in school. At United Way, we’re working to identify and address root causes of disciplinary and behavioral issues with students in targeted schools throughout Bexar County. Developing out-of-school programs, family advocacy and mental health support are examples of how students can find a more positive path.

Successful Student Impact Partners

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio
  • Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio
  • Children’s Bereavement Center
  • ChildSafe
  • City Year
  • Communities In Schools
  • Ella Austin Community Center
  • Empower House SA (formerly Martinez Street Women's Center)
  • Family Service Association of San Antonio
  • Good Samaritan Community Services
  • Goodwill Industries of San Antonio
  • Healy-Murphy Center
  • Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston Youth Programs
  • Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland Youth Programs
  • Joint Base San Antonio - Randolph Youth Programs
  • Presa Community Center
  • Restore Education
  • Rise Recovery
  • Roy Maas Youth Alternatives
  • Urban Strategies
  • YMCA of Greater San Antonio
  • YWCA San Antonio

Our Impact

  • 250

    first through third-grade students in our programs are now reading at or above grade level
  • 305

    fifth and eighth-grade students are no longer chronically absent
  • 397

    opportunity youth ages 16 – 24 are re-engaged in education or the workforce
  • 1,078

    students without disciplinary referrals after completion of the intervention program

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