Leading SA: Better Futures Institute working to help next generation thrive economically

' We are the first nonprofit focused on technology out of the West Side because our mission is to provide opportunities to underserved communities,’ CEO says

SAN ANTONIO – Over the last 10 years, San Antonio has grown by leaps and bounds. That means more businesses, jobs, and opportunities, but how can we better connect the younger generation with these opportunities?

Better Futures Institute (BFI) is a local nonprofit working to help the next generation. Alberto Gomez, the CEO of the program, joined Leading SA this weekend to explain the need and the plan.

Gomez said technology is disrupting the workplace and changing how people do their jobs.

“The job market landscape is changing at a very fast pace due to the advancement of technology. Now, we hear AI apps like Chat GPT are forcing many of us to keep learning new tools and new ways to do our work,” Gomez said.

“Now, this is true for those in the service industry and technical professions. There is a big need for upskilling and reskilling our work. Also, in the next decade, San Antonio’s population will be over 2 million people. This will stretch even further — both the job market and the sustainability of our cities. Now, the future of jobs and sustainability of cities — these are problems that we are obsessed with. These are problems that we are tackling head-on,” he added.

The Better Futures Institute is an organization working to advance a culture of innovation and civic engagement by creating pathways for leaders to drive the sustainable and resilient cities of the future.

“One thing that I find really interesting and that I’m super excited about is the Mentor Network, which has a stellar, stellar lineup,” Gomez said. “We have a forward program which includes the research head of Snapchat, which is a very popular mobile application. We also have the STEM director for NASA and former HUD Secretary and former mayor Henry Cisneros.”

Programs, research, and civic engagement technology are being implemented.

“We are teaching participants not only to use and learn about technology that is being implemented right now, but what’s coming ahead so that you can be proactive in learning the skills for tomorrow,” Gomez said.

BFI is optimistic it can make generational changes for many families in and around San Antonio.

“Our offices are actually based out of the West Side. We are the first nonprofit focused on technology out of the West Side because our mission is to provide opportunities to underserved communities,” Gomez said.

He said he wants to focus on STEM education to help these communities get ahead and build wealth.

“Look, I’m from Brownsville, Texas. I’m from the RGV. And for me, making the journey to get to San Antonio and have the opportunities that have allowed me to build my company is something that I want to recreate for other, you know, Latinos like me or Latinos who want to have an impact and improve their community. And in the process, yes, create generational wealth,” Gomez said.

“This is why we are focusing on STEM education for underserved communities. And, hey, we’re taking a step forward and doing all of these from the West Side into Antonio so that we can get close and collaborate with other organizations to have an impact in our community,” he added.

This local growth is not set to slow down anytime soon, which means there are more opportunities for our families on the way.

“The future of San Antonio is exciting, and it’s exciting because there’s a lot to be done. Yes, you’ve mentioned we have challenges like any other city, but the history is on our side, and we have everything we need to thrive, creating a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable city,” Gomez said. “We have a lot of young people, and there are a lot of opportunities, but we have to advance and create more opportunities for them to get ready to learn the skills that are going to give them the opportunities to have an impact. And, like you said, get out of that poverty cycle,” Gomez said.

You can find more information on how to get your students involved with BFI by clicking here.

Watch the entire Leading SA interview with Gomez in the video player above.

Find more Leading SA content on KSAT.com here

About the Author

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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