Communities in Schools receives ‘historic donation’ from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott

Local $7 million gift part of $133.5 million for CIS network

SAN ANTONIO – Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott has done it again.

Having already donated billions of dollars to San Antonio nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, Scott donated $7 million in unrestricted funds to Communities in Schools-San Antonio, part of her $133.5 million gift to the CIS national office and its nationwide network in 25 states.

“I still shake when I say that number,” said Rey Saldana, president and CEO of the CIS national office in Washington, D.C.

“This is beyond our imagination,” Saldana said. “This is now for us an ability to put some jet fuel into the tank and serve more students.”

Jessica Weaver, CEO of Communities in Schools-San Antonio, said, “It’s the largest and it’s the most historic gift we’ve ever received.”

In San Antonio more than 30 years, Communities in Schools is recognized for taking a holistic approach to removing obstacles to students achieving academic success.

“We’re there for the whole child, which means their whole family,” Weaver said.

She said its staff in more than 100 San Antonio schools have backgrounds in social work and counseling.

Saldana himself, who served on the San Antonio City Council, is a product of Communities in School when he was a student at South San High School.

“It made a difference in my life, and I know we continue to make the difference for students every single day at San Antonio,” Saldana said.

Be it providing warm coats for its students to wear to school or helping them and their families with additional resources for any issues they may be having, Saldana said, “I relate to these communities who need the support. The pressure is so great.”

Communities In Schools of San Antonio partnered with Valero for a coat drive that benefited CIS-SA students. Courtesy: Communities In Schools of San Antonio. (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Saldana and Weaver said the CIS board will be reviewing how to best spend the generous gift given by one of the wealthiest women in the world.

“The ripple effect of what happens in San Antonio is taking place all across the country with this investment,” Saldana said.

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About the Authors

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.

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