Community Spotlight: Upgrade San Antonio

Community Spotlight with Micaela Rios, Director of Upgrade San Antonio

Micaela Ríos joined the Education Partnership in March 2015 as a College Access and Success Advisor for cafécollege. She is now the Program Director for Upgrade San Antonio. Ms. Rios enjoys guiding families through the college application process, as well as dispelling myths for first generation students. She feels thankful to be a part of San Antonio Education Partnership.


What’s your favorite thing about being part of The Graduate! Network?

As a brand new program that launched in April of 2017, we appreciate having access to a network of communities who also operate from the same model. Being part of The Graduate! Network has been beneficial in every aspect, from preparing for the launch event to setting up our Salesforce Comeback Tracker to marketing content ideas. Although our program has only been seeing adult learners for about five months, we are able to learn from other communities who have been established for much longer periods of time and have more experience. We are therefore, able to serve Comebackers using the best practices and be on the forefront of new developments.

What motivational touch or activity do you have to reach Comebackers while in school?

Early on, we noticed that there were a handful of individuals who had filled out the intake form, but did not respond to emails or phone calls. After listening in on a Cross Country conversation – The Graduate! Network’s monthly webinar for Advisors – we designed our own catchy bright orange postcard that states: “Hello. Still thinking about going back to college?” On the back, we remind individuals that we are available when they feel ready to return to school. This serves as a gentle reminder for individuals who are busy managing life. A couple months later, individuals are reaching out to us, often times explaining that they are now ready to seriously explore options for returning to school.

What’s is your next goal? How do you plan to tackle it?

In the next six months, we intend to actively engage employers in the San Antonio community. We currently started working with City of San Antonio as an employer. While we do not want to add too many employers too quickly, we plan to increase our outreach efforts to employers with the hope of having sustained partnerships in the future. To do this, we will continue to network with the community, reach out to the various chambers of commerce in the area, and discuss opportunities with our advisory council.

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