Young Women’s Preparatory Network’s San Antonio School Senior Receives Early Admittance into Yale University

(Dallas, Texas, December 18, 2015) – An early action for admissions means an early Christmas gift for Nadia Balderas, a senior at San Antonio’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA), one of the schools in the Young Women’s Preparatory Network. Balderas is the first student in her school and in the Network to be accepted to Yale University.

Balderas has seen the importance of a college education. Her parents, Liz and Rene Balderas, were the first in their families to attend college, and their commitment was to see that all three of their daughters attended the college of their choice.

Delia McLerran, principal of YWLA, said, “This is a proud principal moment for me. More importantly, I’m so proud of Nadia’s accomplishment as she has incredible drive. She’s a diligent student who sets her sights and goals high, achieves them, and then does it again. Our school’s mission is to provide the best college preparatory environment, and for her to get into one of the most prestigious universities in the nation means that what we’re doing is working well.”

Balderas is an accomplished young woman. She is a member of the National Hispanic Institute, which has taught her the fundamentals of debating. In addition to being named a National Commended Merit Scholar—something her father credits the school for preparing her—she has participated in the Duke TIP program since 7th grade. With encouragement from McLerran, who tells her students  to do something outside of school to challenge themselves,  Balderas attended a summer program at Columbia University and took courses in urban planning, which is something that interests her. While there, she visited some of the Ivy League schools and liked Yale University.

San Antonio’s YWLA is part of the Dallas-based Young Women’s Preparatory Network, a nonprofit agency that partners with public school districts in Texas to operate the largest network of all-girls, public, college preparatory schools in the nation. There are seven schools with an eighth school in El Paso to be added next fall. The results are staggering—100 percent of its girls graduate from high school and 100 percent are accepted into college. Statewide, approximately 70 percent of all students come from economically disadvantaged homes, and 68 percent of the students in the Class of 2015 are first generation college students.

About Young Women’s Preparatory Network:
Founded in 2002, Dallas-based Young Women’s Preparatory Network is a nonprofit agency that partners with public school districts across the state of Texas to operate the largest network of all-girls, public, college preparatory schools in the nation. The organization provides funding and other resources to schools in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio. Total enrollment is about 4,200 students in 6th through 12th grades.  Each YWPN school features a STEM-focused curriculum and is largely attended by disadvantaged students who are second-generation immigrants. The programs also focus on leadership development, college readiness and wellness life skills.  Additionally, each school serves as a laboratory example of an innovative public-private education model that results in high student achievement. In 2014-2015, the network’s 247 graduates received more than $29 million in academic and merit scholarships and have matriculated to 87 different colleges and universities. More information can be found at

For immediate release:
Media contact: Juliette Coulter, 214.394.5532,

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