Charitable Trust Donates $50,000
The Blake, Kymberly and George Rapier Charitable Trust is donating $50,000 to City Year San Antonio to sponsor service learning teams providing tutoring, mentoring and other stay-in-school initiatives at two San Antonio schools for the 2009-10 school year.
The money will be split evenly to fund City Year San Antonio’s AmeriCorps teams at the new KIPP University Prep High School, a charter school program, and McAuliffe Middle School, a campus in the Southwest ISD.
At both campuses, which have high populations of at-risk students, AmeriCorps members will provide tutoring and mentoring; organize after-school activities; and offer Saturday service learning opportunities for students.
The donation was announced Wednesday evening (March 4) at City Year San Antonio’s “Ripples of Hope” Awards Dinner, where Kym and George M. Rapier III, M.D. were being honored as “Champions of Hope,” along with Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade.
“The students at these campuses are underserved and are from communities that do not have a culture that push kids toward a college education,” City Year Executive Director Paul Garro said. “The Rapiers’ investment in City Year will allow us to make sure they don’t drop out – that they are college and career ready.”
The City Year AmeriCorps program has been in place at McAuliffe Middle School for the past school year, and has had a positive impact on the community, said Dr. Velma Villegas, superintendent of Southwest ISD.
“Middle school is where we lose the most kids, between the 8th and 9th grades,” Dr. Villegas said. “The City Year team has been a real catalyst in reaching out to kids, mentoring them and providing a lot of services that engage the parents in the McAuliffe community. We’re excited about keeping the program going and the contributions the Rapiers are making to allow us to do this.”
Kym Rapier established Family Fitness Unlimited on the city’s South Side in 2000. The gym was purchased by WellMed in 2008 and converted into the Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center by WellMed, of which Kym Rapier is the director. The center is free to anyone age 60 and older, and their primary caregivers.
Dr. Rapier serves as Chairman and CEO of San Antonio-based WellMed Medical Management, South Texas’ largest physician-owned practice management company, specializing in senior health care since 1990. The mission of the healthcare company and insurance provider – serving more than 80,000 patients and insured members in four states – is to change the face of healthcare delivery for seniors.
“Kym and Dr. Rapier’s generous donation recognizes the transformative impact of service learning and community partnerships,” said Joel Harris, Founding Director of KIPP (which stands for Knowledge is Power Program) University Prep. “The collaboration between KIPP University Prep and City Year will not only change the lives of our students, but also positively impact our community.”
About The Blake, Kymberly and George Rapier Charitable Trust: The Blake, Kymberly and George Rapier Charitable Trust targets causes that help education (particularly dropout reduction efforts), disadvantaged children and families, homeless animals, seniors and healthcare. Since its establishment in 2006, the family charity has donated nearly $3 million to local causes, and is on track to donate more than $1 million in 2009.