Inaugural MOSAICO Gala Raises $815,000 for AlamoPROMISE Program

April 13, 2023

DSO Communications

AlamoPROMISE students posing with Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores & NASA Astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa


The Alamo Colleges District is pleased to announce its inaugural MOSAICO gala presented by USAA helped raise $815,000 for its AlamoPROMISE program. 

Held on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, the Alamo Colleges District MOSAICO Gala welcomed higher education supporters at the Witte Museum to raise funds for Alamo Colleges moonshot – partnering to end poverty through education and training in San Antonio. 

By combining last-dollar scholarships and wraparound program support, AlamoPROMISE seeks to enhance economic and social mobility and meet workforce demands by helping students complete college and obtain the necessary skills to hold high-wage, high-demand jobs. In 2022, with the generous support of our public and private partners, the Alamo Colleges expanded its offer of tuition-free college through AlamoPROMISE to all public Bexar County ISDs and their high schools. 

“Alamo Colleges plays a critical role in San Antonio’s workforce by building a talent pipeline of diverse students who will be the next generation of business and community leaders,” said Justin Schmitt, assistant vice president of Corporate Responsibility at USAA. “USAA’s long-standing support is part of our continued commitment to advance economic mobility for under-served communities through educational and employment programs.”

Long-time supporters of the Alamo Colleges District, Fernando and Norma Reyes served as event co-chairs. Deborah Knapp, KENS 5 anchor, was the gala emcee throughout the event.

NASA Astronaut, Dr. Ellen Ochoa, served as the keynote speaker of the gala. Dr. Ochoa is the first Latina astronaut, and the former Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours. She currently serves on several boards and continues outreach through speaking and bilingual children’s books. She is honored to have seven schools named for her and has been inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Engineering.

During her speech, Dr. Ochoa addressed a range of topics close to her heart and at the core of contemporary discussions about diversity, science, engineering and space exploration, saying, “Teamwork is what allowed NASA’s moonshot to be successful. Teamwork is what is going to bring success to your moonshot, the AlamoPROMISE.”

“We are grateful to have welcomed hundreds of attendees to our sold out inaugural MOSAICO gala to celebrate and support the continued success of our moonshot – partnering to end poverty in San Antonio through education and training,” said Dr. Mike Flores, Alamo Colleges District Chancellor. “The gala served to celebrate the life-changing impact of higher education and I wish to thank our many supporters and sponsors who helped make the gala a night to remember.”

Also recognized at the gala were outstanding alumni from each of the five Alamo Colleges – remarkable and accomplished individuals whose success serves as a shining example of the current student body of the Alamo Colleges. The honored alumni were: 

  • Pearl Fernandes, Northeast Lakeview College
    Aspiring medical practitioner and medicinal chemistry researcher 

  • Dr. Julien Mahler, Northwest Vista College
    Emergency medicine physician and refugee medical care advocate

  • Janie Martinez Gonzalez, Palo Alto College
    Technology pioneer and visionary in public service

  • Rachell Hathaway, St. Philip’s College
    Corporate philanthropy professional and community advocate

  • Dr. Laura Rendón, San Antonio College
    Student advocate, activist scholar and contemplative educator



More about AlamoPROMISE

Now in its fourth year, since program launch in 2019, AlamoPROMISE serves 20 school districts and partners and 73 San Antonio-area high schools and programs as a result of an expanded level of service that increases reach across the region. 

AlamoPROMISE covers tuition and required fees for current academic year graduates from participating high schools seeking an academic certificate or associate’s degree at one of the five Alamo Colleges: Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College and St. Philip’s College. 

In addition to tuition-free assistance, AlamoPROMISE Scholars have access to wraparound services such as advising, career counseling and help with financial, health and other issues that present barriers to completing a college education.

For more information about MOSAICO sponsors, AlamoPROMISE or to donate, please visit, or