Shantel Wilkins will help fortify mission that is connecting San Antonians to life-changing educational opportunities in the region’s advanced industries.
SAN ANTONIO, TX — Members of the Kelly Heritage Foundation board of directors welcome longtime philanthropic investment and public engagement executive Shantel Wilkins as their newest colleague.
Board members serve on a voluntary basis and are focused on identifying and providing financial support to educational efforts that prepare people for career opportunities in the San Antonio region's advanced sectors, including aerospace, cybersecurity, robotics, biomedicine and a range of applied technologies. Focus areas are STEM/STEAM initiatives for K-12 students as well as workforce development and other training programs for adults.
In her new role, Wilkins brings broad experience straddling the Kelly Heritage Foundation's industry, educational and philanthropic stakeholders.
She is currently Chief of Staff for the Donors of Color Network, the first-ever cross-racial community of high-net-wealth donors of color committed to building the collective power of people and communities of color to drive systems change and advance racial equality.
Previously, she served in different senior leadership roles overseeing philanthropic giving by major organizations, including for the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, Bank of America and The Boeing Company.
She also volunteers her time to numerous forums that help inform philanthropic endeavors and surrounding policies. Wilkins' past engagements include those organized by the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the Nature Conservancy of Texas, the United Way of San Antonio and UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures, among many others.
"Shantel brings a very important perspective and voice as we continue to strengthen our resources and focus our efforts toward programs that are measured in lives transformed across generations," said Kelly Heritage Foundation Board President Jim Perschbach. "This is an exciting time as we significantly ramp up our support of some innovative efforts that, thanks to Shantel's and our other board colleagues' energy and expertise, we look forward to scaling up so that we can connect even more San Antonians with a world of opportunities."
"I'm honored to join this stellar team and help advance the Kelly Heritage Foundation's life-changing mission," said Wilkins. "I'm committed to doing my part in support of the foundation's work to continue to build multiple pathways to leading industries in our community. Work gets done through people, and providing access to STEM/STEAM careers for our youth will help to address socioeconomic disparities and advance social equality."
In recent months, the Kelly Heritage Foundation has awarded over $400,000 to three key initiatives benefiting over 200 area students: a "computer-build" program in which middle and high school students, under the mentorship of industry professionals, learned how to design and assemble state-of-the-art gaming systems valued at about $3,000 each, which they got to keep; the latest cohort of students to participate in the WEX Foundation's Lunar Caves Analog Test Sites (LCATS) space science project-based program and a new drone/aerospace technology program led by the Dee Howard Foundation in which several area schools are participating.
Students participating in the Kelly Heritage Foundation-sponsored inaugural "Build Your Future" computer build program at the Boeing Center last April. The effort was coordinated by the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT) and included an array of industry mentors, including servicemembers who are among the U.S. Air Force's leading cybersecurity experts.
People interested in learning more about the foundation's work and how to support it can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.