H-E-B and its chairman and CEO, Charles Butt, are donating $2 million to support startup costs and renovations for San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Schools’ future CAST Med High School campus located at Brooks, a mixed-use development on San Antonio’s South Side. The school will be the third campus in the CAST network and the second within SAISD.
Opening in August 2019, CAST Med will add to the pipeline of doctors and researchers in the San Antonio area.
CAST is a network of tuition-free, industry-led, career-themed high schools in San Antonio founded by Charles Butt and H-E-B in partnership with area industries. This latest gift brings the total investment from the Charles Butt Foundation and H-E-B to more than $8 million in support of the network of three schools.
“Charles and the amazing folks at H-E-B have pursued a vision for this network and brought it to life through in-kind resources and generous contributions,” said Kate Rogers, president of The Holdsworth Center and a network founder. “We saw a critical need in San Antonio to help graduates build skills and connections that will allow them to move seamlessly into high-demand jobs. The model benefits both the individual student and the economy as a whole.”
CAST Med will build on San Antonio’s strengths and address current educational gaps to place an emphasis on medicine, public health and biomedical research, says H-E-B.
“The innovative model of CAST schools is changing the landscape of high school education, and we already are seeing this with the success of CAST Tech,” SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez said. “The medical industry immersion students at CAST Med will experience will put them on a higher-level playing field when it comes time for them to enter medical school. And that’s what we want for our students.”
UT Health San Antonio, with its research expertise and growing focus on population health and health disparities, is an anchor partner for the school, helping to imagine how to best prepare medical school aspirants. UT Health San Antonio is the largest health sciences university in South Texas. San Antonio College, with its focus on health careers, will further offer students early access to its medical laboratories and equipment, summer opportunities, and relevant college coursework.
Additionally, CAST Med students will have the opportunity to learn from industry partners and gain real-world experience through extracurricular study groups, summer enrichment programs, job shadowing, mentorships, internships, volunteer experiences, and clinical and research opportunities.
The application period for the first cohort of ninth graders will begin in November, and open house dates will be announced this fall. CAST Med will be operated as an in-district charter in SAISD, and will be open to students across Bexar County through a lottery. Students enrolled in CAST Med will follow one of three pathways: Biomedical Research, Medical Professionals or Public Health Professionals.