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Turning Observation Into Action

By Laura Carter | Aug 6 2013

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The first SA2020 public forum on September 25th, 2010, where it all began.

By Laura Carter

As a longtime resident of San Antonio, blogger and nonprofit enthusiast, I have been aware of SA2020 since the beginning. I watched the NOWCastSA live webcast of the first community meeting. Skeptical, but interested, I payed attention as the initiative really took shape over the past year.  And seeing this progress, I’m no longer skeptical–I have become an engaged advocate.

In January 2012, I returned to work at Providence Catholic School as communications director. For me, this is the 25th year, and fourth place I’ve worked downtown.  I’ve watch the area’s progress and changes with great anticipation. For those of you who may not know, Providence, founded in 1951 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, is situated on three acres of historically significant property in downtown San Antonio. The school’s front porch provides a perfect view of the locks of the Riverwalk-Museum Reach.

While working at Providence, I’ve helped engage our faculty and staff in the SA2020 Downtown goal. Everyone agrees we want to be a part of downtown revitalization–as a place of academic excellence, as individuals, and as a community. “The Providence community is excited about SA2020 goals for downtown growth, and wants to be part of a vibrant neighborhood,” Providence Principal Alicia Garcia once explained. “We all want the best city possible for our students to learn, play and live.”

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Student Ambassador Cathryn Montemayor with Mayor Castro and Mary Ullmann Japhet of the Mayor’s Fitness Council

The Providence community is proud that one of our 2013 graduates, Cathryn Montemayor, served as a Student Ambassador on the Mayor’s Fitness Council, SA2020 Lead Partner in Health & Fitness, last school year. As a result of this initiative, several staff members were inspired to begin a faculty/staff health program which offered yoga classes, walks along the Riverwalk and healthy eating tips.  I’m happy to say, I’ve lost 11 pounds so far! In addition, we are excited to announce 8th grader Morgan Barr was recently welcomed into the Mayor’s Fitness Council Student Ambassador Program for the 2013-2014 academic year!

For me, the Arts and Culture goal is also a passion. I am a big supporter of all kinds of art, and try to stay abreast of the many cultural and art events happening in our city.  I’m happy to work at a school where performance and visual arts are part of the curriculum. The students are encouraged to participation in theater, music and the visual arts—not just in the school setting, but in the community as well. Providence students have interned at Blue Star, acted in community theater plays, and participated off-campus art shows. I feel sure these students will join the next generation of San Antonio artists and performers.

I applaud the progress thus far and hope the community enthusiasm continues to grow for SA2020. As I watch my talented students grow up into talented citizens, I’m so excited to imagine the world-class city we can offer them if we work together.

Laura Carter

Laura Carter is a writer, blogger, social media maven, and nonprofit advocate. A communications professional, she is currently working with Blessed Sacrament Academy on Mission Road helping develop their communications/fundraising programs. Laura serves on the Advisory Board of spare parts. In addition, she volunteered in previous years with TEDxSA

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