Workplace Mentoring, formerly Inspire U, introduces children to jobs at an early age, giving them an opportunity to learn about the professional workforce first-hand. Through relationships with UTSA faculty and staff volunteers called “Bigs”, Littles experience what it means to work for an institution like UTSA and the educational requirements needed to achieve this professional success. The value is the same: children are exposed to professional environments, new career paths and life goals are introduced.
Inspire U began in 2008 as a partnership between the San Antonio Mayor's Office, mentoring organizations and businesses for the purpose of recruiting business people to mentor middle school students. The program was initially patterned after CPS Energy's Connecting The Dots Job Shadowing Program (CTD). Begun in 2007, the program paired employees with 13 at-risk students from Edison High School in the San Antonio Independent School District to encourage students to graduate from high school and pursue higher education.