Community Column: College starts at birth with Educate South

April 6, 2021

Dr. Robert Garza

Last week Palo Alto College announced a new community effort, Educate South. This exciting new initiative focuses on beginning educational awareness at the earliest years.  We are thankful for our education, non-profit, and business partners who believe in the education of our youth and are ready to enhance a college-going culture in south Bexar County.

As an institution of higher education, Palo Alto College is deeply committed to eradicating poverty through the transformational power of education. In order to fully develop the potential of our community’s children, Educate South embraces the fact that education starts at birth. 

With Educate South, we will continue to set the expectation that a post-secondary education is for all students while tapping into the time, talent, and treasure of our southside community. We remain committed to creating a better future for the southside community by providing access to quality higher education for all members of our community.

Through three phases, Exposure, Exploration, and Experience, which impact children of all ages – from newborn through high school – Palo Alto College is committed to building a college-going culture in our community through existing programming and developing new and innovative ideas.

Though we have a strong framework in place, we cannot do this alone. It takes a community of strong, visionary leaders to help us on this journey of setting the expectation that a post-secondary education should be open to anyone, and, by working collaboratively, we can uplift our southside community towards a better future for themselves and their families.

In December, we announced an eight-figure gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This marks the largest one-time donation in the College’s history. This gift is a testament to the impact of Palo Alto College in the community and will allow us to enhance support for current students and future students. To learn more about Educate South or how to become a partner, or match our contribution, visit  

This column by Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College, was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News' Southside Reporter and