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Rey Saldaña, President and CEO of Communities In Schools

Rey Saldaña is the President and CEO of Communities In Schools®, (CIS™) the national organization that ensures all students are empowered to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future.

Saldaña is a CIS alumnus, whose journey from former student supported by CIS to national leader of Communities In Schools, sends an inspiring message to young people nationwide about the power they have to write their own success story.

Most recently, Saldaña served as the Regional Advocacy Director for the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation and the Chair of the San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Agency-VIA. Prior to that, he successfully served four terms on the San Antonio City Council where he was first elected at age 24, becoming the youngest council person in that city’s history.

During his four terms, Saldaña focused on helping to meet the needs and harness the skills of young people and working families in his community. He championed the expansion of park space and community clinics in underserved areas, fought for increased funding for the city’s public transportation system, successfully campaigned for funding of the city’s early childhood initiative (Pre-K 4SA), and streamlined the city and county’s child truancy court. He chaired the city’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee, where he worked closely with state and federal legislators on law making and local policy development.

Concurrent with his elected position, he taught as an Adjunct Professor at Trinity University and Palo Alto Community College. Additionally, he worked with The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Office of Community Engagement and served as Chief Engagement Officer with KIPP San Antonio Public Schools.

In recognition of his accomplishments and enduring interest in the mission of Communities In Schools, in 2017, Communities In Schools invited Saldaña to serve on the CIS National Board of Directors, making him the first alumni to join the Board.

Saldaña holds a master’s degree from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education where he studied policy, organization and leadership studies, and two bachelor’s degrees in political science and communications from Stanford.

The son of immigrants who came to this country from Mexico, Saldaña was born and raised on the South Side of San Antonio and is the product of Title I Texas public schools. He is a proud first-generation American and first in his family to graduate from college. He and his wife Jessica are the happy parents of Eli and Olivia and two rescue dogs.

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Bill Milliken, Founder and Vice Chairman of Communities In Schools, Inc

Bill Milliken, Founder and Vice Chairman of Communities In Schools, Inc., is one of the nation's foremost pioneers in the movement to give young people the help they need to graduate from high school and go on to rewarding lives.

Mr. Milliken's activism began in 1960 when he joined Young Life, an ecumenical youth organization. He helped initiate “street academies” for young people who had dropped out of school and wanted a chance to resume their education, as well as live-in programs for substance abusers and youth in need of shelter and support. His experiences led him to search for a comprehensive approach to helping young people. This search culminated in the 1970s with the development of a model program that repositioned existing community resources into schools — the Communities In Schools network, which Mr. Milliken led as President until May 2004.

Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading community-based organization helping students achieve in school and prepare for life. Currently, the organization directly serves more than 1.26 million students and their families each year in more than 2,700 schools in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Milliken has served three U.S. presidents and has received numerous honors for his commitment to young people.

Most recently, he was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award for National Service. Prior to that, he received the Visionary Ambassador’s Award from Usher’s New Look Foundation and the National Jefferson Award for Public Service, which is widely regarded as the “Nobel Prize” for outstanding community and public service.

Mr. Milliken serves on the boards of Leadrship Foundations and Communities In Schools of Virginia. He also serves on the Board of Selectors of the Jefferson Awards, who choose the annual Jefferson Awards winners. He is an honorary member of Path North and is the author of four books: So Long, Sweet Jesus; Tough Love; The Last Dropout: Stop the Epidemic!; and From the Rearview Mirror: Reflecting on Connecting the Dots. Originally published in 2007, a revised edition of The Last Dropout was recently released in November 2022. Mr. Milliken received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2007 from Bard College.