San Antonio, TX (Oct. 23, 2018) – Yes! Our Kids Can (YOKC) has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation. This second grant from the Santikos Foundation is in addition to the initial $131,000 granted previously. The combined gifts total $381,000, allowing Yes! Our Kids Can to continue to expand its mission of disrupting the cycle of generational poverty in our community. Yes! Our Kids Can has grown exponentially because of the generous support from the Santikos Foundation and other key funders.
“We are extremely grateful to the Santikos Foundation and Area Foundation for their generous gift that will continue to change the lives of countless families for the better,” said Lionel Sosa, founder of Yes! Our Kids Can. “The Santikos Foundation was the first to fund Yes! Our Kids Can two years ago. It would have been impossible to survive without their initial investment. We’ve come a long way since that first gift, enabling us to enroll 6,000 families and helping to fulfill our mission of disrupting generational poverty in San Antonio.”
Yes! Our Kids Can began in 2016 with a six-week pilot program at Somerset ISD that served 100 first grade students. As of October 2018, Yes! Our Kids Can is serving Pre-K, Kinder, and 1st grade students and their families in San Antonio ISD, Southside ISD, Somerset ISD and Harlingen CISD. In 24 months, the number of families rose from 100 to over 6,000 in the 2018-2019 school year.
“Mr. Santikos believed in creating an improved quality of life, evidenced by his many examples of fostering the educational advancements and successes of his employees. It is our honor to further his mission by ensuring children are receiving the foundational support they need to better achieve their future aspirations. We are thrilled that his contribution will help Yes! Our Kids Can with key programing to achieve this,” says Rebecca “Becca” Brune, president and chief operating officer for the San Antonio Area Foundation.
What began as an idea more than 17 years ago is now beginning to take effect. Initial research is revealing that many families who had never thought of a college career are saying, “Nothing will get in the way. My child can accomplish anything and everything.” The Yes! Our Kids Can program will continue building its educational technology system to help turn a poverty state of mind into a success state of mind.
About Yes! Our Kids Can
Yes! Our Kids Can (YOKC) was established in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to operate as a social enterprise. Its primary goal is to help every parent and teacher create an expectation of success and prosperity in the mind of every disadvantaged child in a way that is measurable, scalable and affordable. The YOKC mission is to disrupt the cycle of generational poverty by creating a Success MindsetTM in low income and fragile families that encourages high educational expectations and career readiness. YOKC exists to provide educators with an important tool they can use to fill a widening void –consistent, extensive college and career readiness with parent engagement in the early grades. For more information, visit ourkidscan.org or follow YOKC on Facebook and YouTube.
About the San Antonio Area Foundation
The San Antonio Area Foundation has served as the sole, designated community foundation for the San Antonio are for over half a century, growing to become one of the Top 20 foundations in the nation based on asset size. The Area Foundation helps donors achieve their charitable goals, managing more than 500 charitable funds approaching $1 billion in assets. Coordinating efforts with numerous are nonprofits, the Area Foundation serves as a collaborative leader, connecting doors to address key community issues and investing in our future. Since 1964, over $400 million for scholarships and grants have been awarded to enhance the quality of life in our region. Learn more about your community foundation at saafdn.org.
About the John L. Santikos Foundation
The John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, was created by John L. Santikos – entrepreneur, real estate developer and movie theatre businessman – who died December 30, 2014. Mr. Santikos gifted the bulk of his estate to the San Antonio Area Foundation to establish his legacy, continue the successful operation of his businesses and make significant annual donations beyond his lifetime. He directed his support for nonprofits in eight Texas counties who offer a wide range of charitable programs. Learn more at saafdn.org/santikos.