Vista: February 2022

New Resources for our Rural Education Partners

Podcast: Rural Matters highlights rural education

The national podcast Rural Matters hosted four funders to talk about why they fund access to postsecondary education and what works in rural communities.

As part of the panel discussion, Allison Pennington shared why Greater Texas Foundation strategically invests in rural communities and highlighted examples of successful rural collaboratives in Texas, including Rural College Promise and West Texas A&M’s Rural Resilience and Opportunity on the High Plains.

Listen to this podcast to hear perspectives from Texas, Oregon, Mississippi, and rural communities across the U.S.

Video: An inspiring model for rural educators

In Roscoe, Texas, 90% of students earn an associate’s degree or workforce certification before they even don their cap and gown for high school graduation. In comparison, nationally  of students from rural high schools enroll in postsecondary education.

Our new video reveals the successful formula used by this small, rural school district – and how they are helping other districts replicate the model to serve their own communities.

Report: Notes from the Texas Rural Collaborations Convening

We are just weeks away from publishing the summary report from our Texas Rural Collaboration Virtual Convening. The report, Four Keys to Collaboration in Rural Texas, is chock-full of practical advice gleaned from attendees, and comes with a companion Guide to Texas Rural Education Collaboratives.

If you did not attend the convening and would like to get the report as soon as it is available, contact Tessa Pennington and she will make sure you get a copy, direct to your inbox. 

Team Transitions

Please extend a warm welcome to the newest member of our team, Dr. Andrea Robledo, Programs and Strategy Officer. Prior to joining the foundation, Andrea developed student support services at Angelo State University. She brings a mix of experience in the higher education, nonprofit, and foundation sectors and will be a great resource for anyone wishing to explore funding opportunities with Greater Texas Foundation. 

Dr. Andrea Robledo

Allison Pennington

Another significant transition: Allison Pennington will depart the foundation in mid-March. Many of our partners know Allison and understand the deep contributions she has made to Greater Texas Foundation and to the field in her five years with us. We extend our thanks and gratitude to Allison for the time and talent she devoted to the foundation.If you would like to connect with Allison and extend your well wishes, you can reach her here.

Grantmaking Update

Over the years, Greater Texas Foundation has awarded more than $115 million in grants to changemakers in Texas education. Since our last newsletter, we’ve approved grants to the following organizations:

Visual Identity

The Texas Tribune


Event series on impacts of COVID-19 on higher education in Texas

Visual Identity



Expanding wraparound supports for post-traditional students across texas

Visual Identity

Jobs for the Future (JFF)


A community of practice to get Opportunity Youth back on track 

Visual Identity

The Aspen Institute


Innovative practices to support Opportunity Youth

Visual Identity

Institute for Evidenced-Based Change (IEBC)


More Texas community colleges to adopt Caring Campus

Visual Identity



New research to identify and address barriers to success for part-time students

Visual Identity



Addressing inequity at critical transition points in math education

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