Kym Rapier has always had a Texas-sized heart. While most five year olds were playing house, Kym was going door-to-door in her neighborhood raising money to find a cure for muscular dystrophy- raising some $2,500, one check at a time.
Kym hasn’t stopped reaching out to help others since those early years.
Kym loves helping people and is also an animal lover. She is the proud mother of five furry children, two schnauzers, two poodles and a black Labrador. In her backyard in San Antonio you will find a couple of ducks she rescued as well.
Kym and her husband Dr. George Rapier, the founder and chairman of WellMed Medical Management, gave away $30 million in 2011 to organizations in San Antonio, including stunning gifts of more than one-million dollars to Communities in Schools, SAMMinistries, City Year, Boysville, and Morgan’s Wonderland.
In her no-nonsense, down-to-earth way she says “I’ve just helped as many people as I can.” She will tell you her reward is the smile on the faces of those she’s been able to help.
The Rapier’s love and concern for the well-being of young people translates into a top priority for their family foundation. In San Antonio, where the high school graduation rate is 52 percent (below the Texas average of 67 percent), it means supporting organizations that help educate the community and keep kids in school.
During 2011, the foundation researched scores of education-focused organizations and targeted the resources of those demonstrating positive outcomes for the kids in their programs.
The Rapier’s saw opportunities to not only contribute to groups they cared about, but to transform them by providing gifts large enough to facilitate the growth necessary to meet their program objectives.
“We believe in supporting charities that help people help themselves,” Kym said.
“There’s a lot of poverty in San Antonio, too many kids drop out of school. Too many families are homeless. Too many children are in great need.”
“City Year, Communities in Schools and other groups have a huge impact on our kids, helping them stay in school and showing them that they have options- showing them they can graduate.”
After attending the University of Texas at San Antonio on a volleyball scholarship, Kym worked for years as a personal trainer before founding her own gym.
In 2008, she converted that gym to a now-nationally recognized wellness-center for senior citizens. In addition to serving as chief executor of the Rapier Family Foundation, she also founded her own non-profit organization, Kym’s Kids. The concept started with a dream Kym had about helping students earn college scholarships through community service. That dream became Kym’s Kids.
Kym’s generosity literally knows no bounds. She has been known to increase the amount of a gift on-the-spot. With a big smile on her face she crosses out the amount on the check and replaces it with a number twice as large.
The couple is always looking for ways to make a difference in San Antonio and encouraging others to do the same. Their stalwart belief in the power of service is one reason the Rapiers feel so connected to City Year, SAMMinistries, Morgan’s Wonderland, Boysville, and, of course, Kym’s Kids.
I was born and raised in San Antonio. I am one of six siblings. Being one of six teaches you a lot about life’s challenges and a lot about competition too, which is one of my strongest skills.
In addition to my passion for working with middle and high school students; I also have a passion and love of working with the elderly.
A personal success of mine is working with our students to support them in earning a scholarship through their volunteer efforts in the community.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, running and working on my yard.
I’m from Mexico (Monterrey). I came here when I was 15 years old and started learning English as a second language when I was in high school. This was a big challenge for me. It was difficult being a Spanish speaker, but I embraced the challenge and learned English in only three years in high school. I graduated in the top ten of my high school class.
I am thankful for my mom for bringing me here for more opportunities and a better education.
Kym’s Kids gives me the opportunity to do volunteer work and help students so they can go to college and have a better Education too.
I learned there’s no obstacle in this life that’s insurmountable. You just need to find a way to overcome it! As the people at Nike say- “Just Do It!”
I am a former original Kym’s Kid. I began my journey in this organization just like many of you, volunteering to my make our community better and stronger. After high school graduation I continued my education at the University of Texas at San Antonio, pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Communications.
I am a proud mommy to a little girl who is my direct motivation to every action I make in life. She has helped open my eyes to a greater amount of love I never knew existed. It has helped me learn that when things get tough life can only get better.
Because I am a twin and we are both former Kym’s Kids, this job couldn’t have been more perfect. Volunteer work is such a huge part of our lives and has opened many doors to the future. My Family is entirely what makes me who I am and I am so happy to say that the volunteers and staff here at Kym’s Kids are also a large piece of that family.
I was part of the original Kym’s Kids, and graduated from the founding class of one of our partner organizations, KIPP: U-Prep. I am now in my second year at UTSA working to receive my bachelor’s degree in communications.
When I am not at school I love spending my days with my daughter and niece in our pajamas or going out with our family. My favorite thing to do is take photos of the babies doing all of the incredible things that they do and making arts and crafts for their room.
I love working on Saturdays with my sister and being reminded that there are so many kids ready to wake up early on a Saturday and make a big difference in someone’s life in our community and take responsibility in earning scholarship money for college.
My name is Ashley Mata, I am a Junior at The University of Texas at San Antonio and a student in the Kym’s Kids Post Graduate Program.
Before I started Kym’s Kids I wasn’t involved in community service and did not acknowledge that there were people I could help in my community. One day one of my favorite teachers in middle school said she signed me up for a scholarship program. I was thrilled that my teacher thought of me as a good fit. From then on, Kym’s kids has been a big part of my life.
I discovered that I have a servant’s heart and enjoy being a role model for the younger generation.
I look forward to serving as a mentor and positive role model for all of our amazing students.
I’ve been in Kym’s Kids since my sophomore year in high school. I am now a sophomore in college and I still consider the program to be a big part of my life. Without scholarships I wouldn’t have been able to go to college.