Southwest Key Programs

Opening doors to opportunity

Join Us

Opening doors to opportunity so individuals can achieve their dreams.

SWKey Mission, Vision & Values


The Southwest Key Programs mission is Opening doors to opportunity so individuals can achieve their dreams. A national, nonprofit organization, Southwest Key is committed to keeping kids out of jails and prisons and home with their families, in their communities. We do this through three areas of programming: youth justice alternatives, immigrant children's shelters, and education. Southwest Key also seeks to create opportunities for families to become self-sufficient by offering programming in adult education, community building and workforce development. The inspiring kids and families we work with are seeking the American dream—equality, education, and a healthier quality of life. At Southwest Key, we simply open the doors to opportunity so they can achieve these dreams.

Our History

Our founder and CEO, Dr. Juan J. Sánchez, grew up in Brownsville, Texas on the border of Mexico. Shaped by his experiences as a young migrant worker, he grew up determined to spend his life helping as many people as he could to escape poverty through educational and other opportunities. His tenacity ultimately took him to Harvard University, where he was among the first Latinos to receive his doctorate from the School of Education.

In 1987, Dr. Sánchez founded Southwest Key Programs in a basement in San Antonio, Texas with a staff of five. Today, that small team has grown to serve youth and their families in eight states across the U.S.

Fast Facts about Southwest Key

  • Founded: 1987
  • Legal Status: Nonprofit, charitable 501(c)(3) social service, education and community development organization
  • Mission: Opening doors to opportunity so individuals can achieve their dreams.
  • Programming Areas:

    Youth Justice Alternatives to Detention or Incarceration
    Immigrant Children's Shelters
    Community Building
    Workforce Development
  • National Headquarters: Austin, Texas
  • Number of Programs: 87
  • Program Locations: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New York, Texas and Wisconsin
  • Funding: Our Immigrant Children's Shelters are funded by contracts with the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All other Southwest Key programming is funded by grants and contracts from federal, state, and local governments, foundations, corporations and private contributions.a
Headquarters Group Photo