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80|20 Foundation and CAST Schools Forge Transformative Partnerships Benefitting CAST Tech High School

San Antonio – CAST Schools and the 80|20 Foundation proudly announce two student-centered partnerships to strengthen career preparedness for CAST Tech High School students in San Antonio ISD, the city’s first high-tech high school. 


These initiatives will provide more industry-specific cyber education to CAST Tech students beginning in 9th grade, and give CAST Tech students nearing graduation practical experience in start-up companies, primarily in the Tech sector.  The expansion of 80|20’s signature program, Students + Startups, previously serving exclusively college students, is a pilot for high school with the intention to expand to other high schools in the city. 



CAST Tech High School was designed to ensure that area students are prepared for both college AND career, and students learn through real-world, hands-on projects. “This partnership with the 80|20 Foundation will allow CAST Tech High School students invaluable experience in local start-ups, connected to our promise that students who go directly to the workforce have secured their first job in a career with a ladder,” said Jeanne Russell, Executive Director of CAST Schools. “Also, a core part of our mission at CAST Schools is to pilot new approaches to be scaled across our city.”


The first partnership unveils a $205,800 grant by the 80|20 Foundation to provide CAST Tech students access to a comprehensive and relevant defensive cybersecurity curriculum and virtual range created by Coherent Cyber Education. Students enrolled in this program of study have access to four courses that align with the Texas Education Agency essential standards, CompTIA’s Security+ certification, the NICE Framework, and the requirements of the Department of Defense. In these courses, students acquire the knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents necessary to launch a successful career in cybersecurity. 


“Coherent Cyber Education is honored to work with CAST Schools and the 80|20 Foundation to provide cybersecurity career training for the scholars at CAST Tech. CAST Tech has an exceptional cybersecurity program, and we look forward to supporting them with industry-relevant instructional curriculum and resources that will prepare students for high skilled, high wage careers in a high demand industry. Coherent Cyber Education and the 80|20 Foundation are aligned in their workforce development values and their passion for student success. Partnered with CAST Schools, we will significantly impact the future of our students and the community,” said Dr. Sari McCoy, CEO. 


The second partnership launches a new pilot program that allows CAST Tech High School students to participate in the 80|20 Foundation’s signature program, Students + Startups. Founded in 2016, Students + Startups aims to connect students with internships in local startups and small businesses. The program has connected 488 interns to 148 small businesses in San Antonio. This strategic collaboration with a high school, a first for the  80|20 Foundation, represents a strategic shift to prioritize preparing local talent for the top-paying jobs in the San Antonio economy.



“Our partnership with CAST Schools underscores our dedication to fostering education and career opportunities for young people in the San Antonio community,” said Alexandra Frey. “These partnerships are poised to provide CAST Tech students with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive, offering them a clear path to career success.”

These two new partnerships exemplify 80|20’s desire to invest in San Antonio’s future by issuing grants to public charities, such as CAST Schools, that Attract, Grow, and Retain San Antonio’s future workforce and job-creating entrepreneurs. The innovative curriculum and the pilot high school internship program reflect a shared commitment to empowering the next generation with the tools, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in an increasingly competitive global landscape, and to piloting and testing new ideas that can then be scaled as part of a regional economic mobility strategy for the San Antonio region.. 



About CAST Schools:

The Centers for Applied Science & Technology (CAST) is a San Antonio-based network of tuition-free, public schools with a mission to reinvent schooling to maximize options for students while preparing them for college, career, and life. Open to all Bexar County students, the network includes high schools CAST Tech, CAST Teach, CAST STEM, CAST Med, CAST Lead and the Advanced Learning Academy. Schools are co-created with industry, and partner with area public school districts, including Northside, San Antonio, Southwest, and East Central ISDs. For more information, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About 80|20 Foundation:

The 80|20 Foundation was established by Graham Weston, Co-founder and Chairman of Rackspace Hosting. Based on the Pareto Principle, the foundation invests in the 20% of the nonprofits driving 80% of the social impact.


About Cyber Education

The Texas-based Coherent Cyber Education is driving the development of an industry-relevant cybersecurity talent pipeline across the state to address the workforce demands for talented cybersecurity personnel, enhance the safety and security of Texans, and provide access to an avenue for socioeconomic mobility. Coherent Cyber Education is training the digital defenders of today and tomorrow. To learn more, visit www.coherent


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Copyright © 2021 CAST Schools


The Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Network is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. CAST Schools are partnership schools with a focus on STEM careers, project based learning and work-based learning. Key partners include public school districts, higher education institutions, and local employers from target industries.