In recognition of their extraordinary community outreach initiatives, four APLU member institutions have been selected as regional recipients of the 2022 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award. As regional winners, the University of Georgia, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Vermont, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will compete for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be announced during the APLU Annual Meeting in November.
The University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Westside Community Partnership is an effort aimed at improving the lives of residents on the Westside of San Antonio, a community that was redlined, faces economic, health, educational and housing disparities, and is now the target for displacement and gentrification.
The partnership connects UTSA faculty with Westside nonprofits, schools, and small businesses to jointly work to improve the wellbeing of residents. Working with community stakeholders on community-identified challenges, the Westside Community Partnership has spearheaded efforts to preserve affordable housing availability, bridge the digital divide with small and microbusinesses, and uncover unmet estate planning needs of residents and help fill those needs.
Faculty have worked to create models for rehabilitating affordable housing in a cost-effective way, helped bridge the digital divide facing businesses as they applied for urgently needed pandemic-relief funds, and provided research data to the community to inform policymaking in the areas they’re facing. UTSA also created the Westside Scholarship, a scholarship program exclusively for students from the Westside, to boost student success.