CAST Schools » CAST Schools » CAST Med » CAST STEM and CAST Med to Partner with Communities in Schools
CAST STEM and CAST Med to Partner with Communities in Schools


Communities In Schools of San Antonio Receives $1 Million Dollar Grant from USAA to Advance Racial Equity and Future Workforce Development

San Antonio, Tx.  – January 28, 2021- Communities In Schools of San Antonio (CIS-SA), an organization that connects students with community resources critical to their well-being and success, recently received a $1 million dollar grant from USAA to advance racial equity within San Antonio’s growing workforce.

As a result of USAA’s two-year investment, 750 students in ten area high schools will have access to the wide range of resources and relationships that Communities In Schools offers, including wraparound case management, social service referrals, mental health services, and emergency assistance. Ultimately, CIS-SA Site Coordinators, who work within the schools, will build relationships with at-risk youth to ensure they have access to resources and experiences that foster self-esteem, healthy development, and academic success.

 “Considering local demographic trends, the further aggravation from the pandemic, and the severe consequences of dropping out, meeting the social and educational needs of these students is one of the most urgent challenges facing our community,” said Communities In Schools of San Antonio CEO, Jessica Weaver.

The CIS model of integrated student support addresses these out-of-school factors, which are the critical determinants of a student’s capacity to succeed academically.

In the 10 benefiting high schools, 79% of students are economically disadvantaged, 74% are at-risk of dropping out, 10.5% identify as African American, and 80% as Hispanic, a population currently at greatest risk of dropping out (TEA, 2019).  The Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) are among the ten high schools benefitting from USAA’s support including two of their campuses- CAST STEM and CAST Med.  CAST STEM, located in the Southwest Independent School District, provides students with a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, adding to the pipeline of much-needed STEM professions in San Antonio. Communities In Schools will work with CAST teachers and faculty to provide social-emotional support and a connection to community resources for students most at-risk of dropping out.

“Communities in Schools is a critical partner and wonderful addition to our CAST STEM student support services team.  Now, more than ever, our students are striving to become the best version of themselves while working remotely with college and corporate partners.  Our goal is to wrap our support around our students so that they can achieve their dreams.   The CIS Integration has resulted in a robust student support team ready to serve our students every day.” – Ravae Villafranca Shaeffer, Principal, CAST STEM HS.

To learn more about the work, community impacts and ways to get involved with Communities In Schools of San Antonio, visit

About Communities In Schools

Communities In Schools of San Antonio is part of a national organization that ensures every student, regardless of race, zip code, or socioeconomic background has what they need to realize their potential in school and beyond. Working directly inside over 100 schools across twelve school districts we connect students to caring adults and community resources that help them see, confront, and overcome the barriers that stand between them and a brighter future. Together, we build a powerful change movement made up of peers, students, and alumni committed to building an equitable path to education for future generations.


Copyright © 2024 CAST Schools

200 E. Basse Rd.,
San Antonio, TX 78209

For questions, email:

501(c)(3) Tax Exemption Number: 82-5253554

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.