Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy: Putting Learners First in HISD

Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy

The choices that are available in the Houston Independent School District are so varied. You can send your kid to the neighborhood school, a vanguard school, a challenge school, a school that specializes in medicine, an IB school, a magnet school, and the list goes on. How do you decide? You do a ton of research, make lists, ask around, visit the schools, go to the HISD school fair and try to seek out every piece of information possible. It can be overwhelming, and we are going to break it down for you by sharing some pretty amazing options that HISD has to offer, starting with Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy.

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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 http://youngwomensprep.org/.

For immediate release:
Media contact: Juliette Coulter, 214.394.5532, juliette@coultergroup.com

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How the Junior League of Dallas Became a Leadership Proving Ground

Membership in the 93-year-old organization is one thing many of the area’s most powerful female executives have in common.
BY GLENN HUNTER

Melissa Reiff, president and chief operating officer of the Container Store, learned so much about communicating from this 93-year-old Dallas organization, she wound up adding “communication” to the retail chain’s founding principles. Debbie Taylor, director of U.S. Markets for Citi Community Development, says the venerable organization taught her the keys to running effective meetings. And Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, says she learned from the group about the power of developing long-term relationships in the corporate world.

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The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison Speaks to Young Women’s Preparatory Network

(Dallas, Texas, September 28, 2015) – Young Women’s Preparatory Network, the largest all girls’ college preparatory network in the nation, held its Leadership Summit on September 14 and 15 with its principals, key team members and staff. A highlight of the conference was hearing from The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison at Joyce and Larry Lacerte’s home on September 14.

Lynn McBee, Young Women’s Prep CEO, introduced Hutchison. “Kay has done so much for public education. She is the one who championed the amendment making single-sex schools legal in public school district, and we now have the largest network in the country.”

Hutchison thanked everyone for the work they are doing to make an impact in education. She talked about how in the 1990s U.S. Senator Jack Danforth of Missouri introduced a bill to make single-sex schools legal in public schools, and she served as the co-sponsor. When he retired, she was the lead sponsor and continued trying to get the bill passed, but there was plenty of opposition. “Those who co-sponsored this effort included Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton of New York and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland along with Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Thomas Carper. In fact, Barbara and Susan both attended all girls’ schools. At last, President George W. Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002, as part of the No Child Left Behind Act legislation.”

As a result, the Young Women’s Prep was founded in 2002. This network is the result of Lee and Sally Posey’s vision: the Texas philanthropists were inspired by a 2001 visit to a new single-sex, college preparatory, public school in New York City: The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem. Lee grew up in a home with a mother who had an 8th grade education and had to work tirelessly to raise her family. His desire to help educate young women led him to starting this network.

Hutchison added that it took years of battles and lawsuits in New York City, but the founders of that network persevered. “It just makes sense when it’s the right thing to do to offer this option to parents.”

She concluded, “Thank you, Lee Posey. This is what he dreamed of doing. I’m so happy to see the principals and the success now. This work is certainly in my top couple of favorites (legislation passed) that I did in the Senate.”

The first and largest of its kind in Texas, Young Women’s Prep formed the first public/private partnership with DISD in 2004, opening the Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, the first all-girls public school in Texas. Since then, Young Women’s Prep has opened schools in Austin, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio. There are plans to open additional schools.
An astounding 100% of the students graduate from high school and are accepted to a college or university. 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.
Young Women’s Prep network schools serve students in grades 6 through 12 on seven campuses across the state of Texas. 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:
Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN) provides leadership, forums for the sharing of best education practices, and funding enhancements to seven all-girls’ public schools in Texas, in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio, working in close collaboration in each community with the public school district. Total enrollment as of last school year was more than 4,100 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 are based on the core values of leadership development, college readiness and wellness life skills.  Each school serves as a laboratory example of an innovative public-private education model that results in high student achievement. More information can be found at http://youngwomensprep.org/.

For immediate release:
Media contact: Juliette Coulter, 214.394.5532, juliette@coultergroup.com

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Five of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network Schools Receive Texas Education Agency’s Highest Ratings


(Dallas, Texas, August 20, 2015) – Young Women’s Preparatory Network, an all girls’ college preparatory network of schools in Texas, announced that five of its schools received Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) highest state accountability ratings in seven designations, one of the highest achievements a school can receive. The Texas Education Agency released ratings for more than 8,600 campuses, and 86.4 percent achieved the rating of “Met Standard.”

According to the TEA, “In 2015, 4,388 campuses achieved the Met Standard rating and earned some type of distinction designation. However, only 153 high schools, middle schools and junior high schools earned all seven distinction designations.
“Campuses that receive an accountability rating of Met Standard are also eligible for distinction designations. Distinction designations are awarded to campuses based on achievement in performance indicators relative to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size and student demographics. Distinction designations can be earned by campuses for:
Academic Achievement in Reading/English Language Arts;
Academic Achievement in Mathematics;
Academic Achievement in Science;
Academic Achievement in Social Studies;
Top 25 Percent: Student Progress;
Top 25 Percent: Closing Performance Gaps; and
Postsecondary Readiness.”
Founded in 2002, the 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.

Of its seven schools, Young Women’s Preparatory Schools in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Lubbock received this outstanding commendation, a high percentage of the schools.

Lynn McBee, Young Women’s Prep CEO, said, “Our schools provide a rigorous college preparatory education, so being able to achieve all seven distinctions shows the amazing work our teachers are accomplishing in the education and success of these young women.”
An astounding 100% of the students graduate from high school and are accepted to a college or university. In 2014-2015, the network’s 247 graduates received close to $28 million in academic and merit scholarships and will matriculate to 87 different colleges and universities.
Young Women’s Prep network schools serve students in grades 6 through 12 on seven campuses across the state of Texas. 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.

For information on this report, visit: http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Press_Releases/2015/153_campuses_earn_all_seven_distinctions_in_2015_accountability_ratings/

About Young Women’s Preparatory Network:
Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN) provides leadership, forums for the sharing of best education practices, and funding enhancements to seven all-girls’ public schools in Texas, in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio, working in close collaboration in each community with the public school district. Total enrollment as of last school year was 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 are based on the core values of leadership development, college readiness and wellness life skills.  Each school serves as a laboratory example of an innovative public-private education model that results in high student achievement. More information can be found at http://youngwomensprep.org/.

For immediate release:
Media contact: Juliette Coulter, 214.394.5532, juliette@coultergroup.com

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Capital One Bank Associates Volunteer at Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School

(June 19, 2015) WHAT:    Capital One Bank associates are volunteering their time at Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School’s summer camp this Monday. The associates will help 60 female students build hovercrafts and catapults during their STEM summer camp.

With Capital One Bank’s support, these young women will gain exposure to science, technology, math and engineering education to help develop skills and prepare them for future STEM jobs. Over the past decade, STEM jobs have grown at three times the pace of non-STEM jobs, but female students tend to lose interest in the STEM pipeline during middle and high school. Given that jobs requiring STEM skills will continue to increase, it is crucial for these young women to have exposure to STEM learning during their formative years.

WHEN:    Monday, June 22 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

WHO:    Rick Rodman, Senior Vice President of Capital One Bank will be present and available for interviews

WHERE:    Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School
1718 Robert B. Cullum Boulevard
Dallas, Texas 75210

About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $210.4 billion in deposits and $306.2 billion in total assets as of March 31, 2015. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has branches located primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.
About Young Women’s Preparatory Network:
Young Women’s Prep (YWPN) provides funding and other resources to seven all-girls’ public schools in Texas, in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio, working in close collaboration in each community with the public school district. Total enrollment as of last school year was 4,100 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, all of the network schools that have been open long enough to have a senior class—146 young women—graduated 100% of their students, who earned a collective $15.8 million in scholarships. Each student was accepted into a four-year college or university.  More information can be found at http://youngwomensprep.org/.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Claire Butterworth Charhon
214-654-0402
claire@mcaprdallas.com

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Young Women’s Preparatory Network Schools Place in Top 30 for America’s Most Challenging High Schools


(Dallas, Texas, April 28, 2015) – Young Women’s Preparatory Network, an all girls’ college preparatory network of schools, announces that four of its schools ranked in the top 30 of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. The Washington Post compiles this ranking, a brainchild of Jay Mathews who is an educational columnist and blogger for the outlet. Schools are ranked based on a Challenge Index, which “…is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests.”*

Of the seven Young Women’s Prep schools, four were eligible for consideration this year. The Houston school was not eligible because it does not yet have a class that has graduated; its first class graduates in May 2015.

All four eligible schools ranked in the top 30:

#13 Talkington School for Young Women Leaders (Lubbock)
#15 Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School (Dallas)
#19 Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (Austin)
#27 San Antonio Young Women’s leadership Academy

Lynn McBee, Young Women’s Prep CEO, said, “It is an honor and privilege to be ranked among the top public high schools in the nation. We are competing against other schools based on Advanced Placement and other rigorous tests, and our female students have done very well. Plus, it’s an even greater achievement as 75 percent of our students come from economically disadvantaged homes, and 85 percent will be first generation college students.”

For information on how the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list is assembled, please visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/how-americas-most-challenging-high-schools-works-the-selection-method/2015/04/14/cfdd9e44-e30a-11e4-905f-cc896d379a32_story.html.

For the complete 2015 list, visit http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/schools/2015/list/national/.

About Young Women’s Preparatory Network:
Young Women’s Prep (YWPN) provides funding and other resources to seven all-girls’ public schools in Texas, in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio, working in close collaboration in each community with the public school district. Total enrollment as of last school year was 4,100 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, all of the network schools that have been open long enough to have a senior class—146 young women—graduated 100% of their students, who earned a collective $15.8 million in scholarships. Each student was accepted into a four-year college or university.  More information can be found at http://youngwomensprep.org/.

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* http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/how-americas-most-challenging-high-schools-works-the-selection-method/2015/04/14/cfdd9e44-e30a-11e4-905f-cc896d379a32_story.html

For immediate release:
Media contact: Juliette Coulter, 214.394.5532, juliette@coultergroup.com

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