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Cuts Force GenTX To Dissolve, But Vision Lives On For Bexar County High Schoolers

GenTX San Antonio
SA2020 CEO Darryl Byrd poses with Mayor Julian Castro and students during a Destination College event at City Hall in April 2013.

With the economic recovery still in progress, agencies around the country are prioritizing where their dollars are going, and some important nonprofits are missing out on funding.

Such is the case for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which pulled about $200,000 in funding from Generation TX San Antonio, a college readiness and resource center for first generation college students.

Judy McCormick, a board member at GenTX, said the organization had to re-prioritize where it was sending money, but she didn't want to see the nonprofit completely go away. As executive director of P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County, a collective impact organization focusing on outcomes in education, she helped guide GenTX under P16's wings.

"That's a difficult situation for all of San Antonio," McCormick said. "We have a limited number of funders and we want to make sure that when we ask for money it's going to the right things they like, they prioritize. And the fact that when there's more organizations, there's more asking. Consolidating, there'll be one fewer organization asking."

Nearly every GenTX staffer left the organization due to the dissolution, but McCormick said its executive director, Mari Aguirre, had a baby last year and the transition out of GenTX was an easy one. Only one former staff member of GenTX is working now at P16 -- as a youth coordinator, instead of events coordinator as she was at GenTX.

McCormick believes despite hard times, P16Plus will be able to streamline funding opportunities and the work GenTX did, and she's optimistic about the future.

"We're already working," she said. "We're working with San Antonio Youth Commission, we've got things scheduled for the rest of the year, and we're moving out smartly so it'll be great."

P16Plus will be handling the Youth Commission work GenTX performed, as well as its other main project, Destination College.

San Antonio was one of GenTX's funders. In the past, the city issued the non-profit $100,000 for services like Destination College.

This year the contribution would have been half that. Assistant City Manager Gloria Hurtado said the city found out late last year that board members decided to dissolve the entity.

"We had already started the process to issue the new contracts and we had actually sent a new contract to GenTX," Hurtado said.

The city did not receive any notice from GenTX for a while, said Hurtado, but board members eventually reached out late last year to inform the city of its decision.

The city will redirect half of the $50,000 originally intended for GenTX to domestic violence programs. The other half will go to P16.

The GenTX board is currently working with attorneys on how it will move forward with its dissolution process.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.