With a killer smile, positive attitude and no notes, Karla R tells the audience of 000 professionals about her life-changing experience at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School in Dallas. She is the first high-school graduate in her family. Her parents emigrated from Mexico and her mother often reminded the almost 18-year-old that if they had stayed in Mexico, Karla would probably “have been someone’s housekeeper and probably have two children by now.” Instead she has graduated with honors, has received a dozen scholarships for college, and is attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Then she dropped an ironic note. When her father left Mexico at the age of 16 with nothing and without family, his first job was working at the power plant at the same university where, …“ 33 years later, through his sacrifice, through my mother’s, through my family, through YWPN, through all the support and nourishment that I received, I will be coming back to UNC not as a laborer but a student.”

Karla joins 146 other YWPN students of the Class of 2014 – 100% admitted to a four-year college with a combined $14.6M in merit scholarships and grants – as they continue on their path to be future leaders.