“Our Westside Community Partnerships initiative is amplifying the economic and cultural strengths of San Antonio’s historic West Side. UTSA faculty and staff are fostering meaningful relationships with Westside residents and business owners that will have a lasting impact on this culturally rich community,” said Teresa Niño, UTSA vice president for university relations. “From going door to door in an effort to prevent the displacement of homeowners to providing residents with technology literacy support and scholarship funds, we are committed to uplifting our West Side neighbors.”
San Antonio’s Westside embodies Mexican-American history and has helped define the city’s role as a national epicenter of Hispanic culture. It remains the heart of San Antonio’s Mexican American working-class community, and continues to be a source of pride, producing many leaders, artists, visionaries and professionals.
The community has, however, suffered from pervasive patterns of structural violence, including racial segregation, redlining, educational neglect and political disenfranchisement.
UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships Initiative, led by executive director Roger Enriquez, is aligned with the university’s larger identity as an urban serving university that tackles society’s grand challenges, serves as prosperity engine for its region and drives social mobility for its students and their families.
Since its launch in fall 2019, UTSA has made great strides in fostering meaningful relationships with Westside residents and business owners in an effort to spark educational excellence, economic opportunity and vital research partnerships in the community. To boost student success, UTSA created the Westside Scholarship Fund, a scholarship program exclusively for undergraduate students from the Westside.
At the same time, the UTSA Texas South-West Small Business Development Center (TXSW SBDC) Network has dedicated its time and its people to help existing and up-and-coming businesses thrive. To date, the center has advised more than 127 businesses, retained more than 300 jobs, created dozens of new jobs, and has provided some $1.3 million in capital infusion.