In early 2001, Texas philanthropists Lee and Sally Posey learned of a new single-sex, college preparatory, public school in New York City, The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem. Having been raised in a home with a mother who had an 8th grade education, working tirelessly to raise her family, Lee had a passion for women’s education. After their inspirational visit to East Harlem, Mr. and Mrs. Posey endeavored to bring the model to Texas.
The timing was perfect, as the national legalization of single-sex public education was underway. U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican and leading advocate of single-sex public education, worked with Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton of New York and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, along with Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine to add an amendment making single-sex schools legal in public school districts. Senator Thomas Carper also co-sponsored this amendment, which was passed by unanimous consent. President George W. Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002, as part of the No Child Left Behind Act legislation.
In 2002, Lee and Sally Posey established the Foundation for the Education of Young Women, now known as the Young Women’s Preparatory Network.
Soon after, Young Women’s Preparatory Network partnered with the Dallas Independent School District to open the first all-girls public school in Texas. Since then, YWPN has opened Young Women’s Leadership Schools in Austin, San Antonio, Lubbock, Fort Worth, Houston, Grand Prairie and Ysleta (El Paso).
Mr. Posey passed away in 2008, but his legacy lives on through the successes of the students and alumnae who benefit from the Posey vision.
StephanieIrma Rangel Alumnae
There are not enough words to show my gratitude. I will attend college and I will work hard. I will earn a degree in a field dominated by men. I will continue living by the Posey Legacy.