(July 8, 2011)--It was an Independence day to remember for hundreds of at-risk and foster-care teens. On July 7 at the UTSA Downtown Campus, 300 at-risk teens and teens who have either recently aged-out or are preparing to age out of the state foster-care system were treated to a full day of empowerment and knowledge at the Independence Day Career and Education Conference.
The show-and-tell conference featured workshops and presentations to help participants discover and assess their passions and talents. It also featured information on health care fields in the military as well as careers in banking, real estate, teaching, STEM careers, careers as a civil servant and careers in the arts.
The conference, themed "Discover: The Quest to Realize Your Destiny," was hosted by the UTSA Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) and BCFS Health and Human Services in conjunction with the U.S. Army.
"This was a fantastic collaborative effort between UTSA, other colleges and universities, as well as professional partners to showcase post-secondary educational opportunities for area foster youth, while also fulfilling UTSA's commitment to community outreach and educational awareness," said Sophia Ortiz, assistant director of the UTSA CAPRI/Mexico Center.
Activities took place in the Durango and Buena Vista buildings and included a college fair complete with information tables from area technical and four-year universities like UTSA and UT Austin.
But the spotlight of the day took place in the Bill Miller Plaza where the Army Stryker ambulance, Army field surgical unit and various Army medical tables, including Army veterinary science, were displayed courtesy of Camp Bullis and the Army Medical Department Center and School. Not to be outdone, the San Antonio Fire Department captivated participants with their emergency response vehicles, including of course, a fire engine.
Teens even had a taste of real-time firefighting quickness as the gear they were trying on had to hurriedly be given back to the firefighters who were called out on an actual emergency.
The day ended with a motivational discussion from basketball Hall of Famer Nevil Shed and Corey Winfield of Bandera Road City Church on the importance of discovering one's purpose and passion.
The conference is part of planned activities presented by UTSA's Access Center, developed from a grant provided by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development/Hispanic Serving Institutions Assisting Communities.
Harriett Romo, UTSA professor of sociology and director of the Bank of America Child and Adolescent Policy Research Center (CAPRI) received the three-year, $600,000 grant in 2010. The funding is being used to create programs for foster-care youth that will encourage and assist them in planning for college.
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
The UTSA Confucius Institute hosts this lecture series on China's Green Movement with Liu Jianqiang, investigative reporter and former Beijing editor for chinadialogue, and Gary Marcuse, Canadian journalist and documentary filmmaker.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 2.01.12), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.
East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.