Mayor and UTSA officials kick off third year of Inspire U mentoring program

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UTSA President Ricardo Romo and Mayor Julian Castro (center) with UTSA officials and other representatives of Inspire U mentoring program with student participants at UTSA Downtown Campus

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(Oct. 27, 2011) -- Educators, business professionals, teens and their parents gathered Oct. 18 at Bill Miller Plaza on the UTSA Downtown Campus to celebrate a new name and new year for "Inspire U" (formerly "Mentoring Matters"). The mentoring initiative was established in 2008 by Mayor Julian Castro to help at-risk teens achieve their dreams. The celebration was hosted by the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives, the City of San Antonio and H-E-B.

Representatives from more than 30 regional colleges, universities and other organizations attended the event, which included remarks by Castro, UTSA President Ricardo Romo, and mentor-mentee team Sandra Hernandez Coleman and Gabrielle Mendez. Speakers encouraged the teens to persevere and complete their education despite challenges. Attendees received a healthy breakfast provided by H-E-B and UTSA officials presented UTSA mementos.

UTSA has a long history of mentoring local children. Staff members currently mentor students at Mark Twain Middle School on a monthly basis. The university also is recognized for its mentoring initiatives by United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Communities in Schools-San Antonio, the nation's leading dropout prevention organization.

According to the City of San Antonio, nearly 160,000 students are considered at-risk and unlikely to graduate from high school, and only one in four adults has a bachelor's degree.

To learn more, visit the UTSA Mentoring Forum or City of San Antonio Mentoring Matters websites.