To better align its mission with its name, the Foundation for the Education of Young Women announced a new name and a whole new look on Sept. 24 at a festive celebration on the lawn of the group’s East Dallas headquarters that included a gathering of board members, educators, donors and students.
The newly-named Young Women’s Preparatory Network (Young Women’s Prep for short) provides private funding and other resources for the network of STEM-focused, all-girls preparatory public schools across Texas. Currently seven schools strong with plans to expand, the single gender campuses, which are primarily attended by disadvantaged and second-generation immigrant students, boast 100% graduation rates and high achievement in college admission exam performance and college scholarship awards. More.
The party’s agenda included after-school fare from Steel City Pops and Ruthie’s Rolling Café, as well as student performances by a girl-power cheerleading squad, an orchestra and a Ballet Folklorico troupe from the newest school in the network—the Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Arnold in Grand Prairie.
Founded in 2004 as a partnership with the Dallas ISD, the Foundation for the Education of Young Women, now Young Women’s prep, has helped open schools in Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Lubbock, Houston, and Grand Prairie in the last decade – and talks are in place to launch a new program in Harlingen, TX.
“As we headed into the second decade of operations, we looked back and saw that we’d become so much more than a granting organization for these programs,” explains Lynn McBee, Young Women’s Prep CEO, “and then we realized it was time for a new name and a new look. We’ve got big plans for the future, which means we need a strong brand image that will adequately convey our message to donors and community members.”
Those spotted in the crowd included Sally Posey (who, along with her late husband, introduced this idea of an all girls’ school to Texas, similar to one they’d seen in New York), Gina Betts (YWPN board chair), Gloria Campos (YWPN board member), Deborah Ferguson (Fort Worth board member), Karen and Don Key, Liza Lee (former Hockaday headmistress), “sister principals” from the network: Berta Fogerson (Lubbock), Vivian Taylor-Samudio (Dallas), Cheryl Horton (asst. principal, Grand Prairie), Mia Hall (Fort Worth), Delesa O’Dell Thomas (Houston), Jeanne Goka (Austin). (Missing from the group was San Antonio Principal Delia McLerran who was joining them the next day for the conference.)
Young Women’s Preparatory Network:
Young Women’s Preparatory Network is a non-profit organization that partners with public school districts to create and support all girl schools with a focus on leadership, college readiness, and health and wellness. Young Women’s Prep serves more than 4,100 6th through 12th grade students on seven campuses in Texas. More than 75 percent of the students are from economically disadvantaged homes and 85 percent will be first-generation college students. Today, 100 percent of the students graduate from high school and are accepted at a four-year college or university. In 2014, 146 graduates received a combined $15.8 million in merit scholarships and grants and are attending 73 different colleges and universities.
Young Women’s Prep is located in Dallas, Texas, and supports schools in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio. More information can be found at www.youngwomensprep.com.