Despite Pandemic Challenges, Urban High School Seniors Earn 10,000+ College Acceptances
June 23, 2022
YES Prep Gulfton Secondary School's Valedictorian Daniela Nadine Chaclan Acosta is a first-generation Guatemalan-Honduran student. She's headed to Yale University in the fall.
Ninety percent of YES Prep’s 1,620 seniors are first-generation college-bound
Emely is a 2022 graduate of YES Prep Public Schools, a public charter district that boasts an average college acceptance rate of 99%. At this year’s Senior Signing Day, 1,620 seniors were individually recognized with a moment in the spotlight to declare where they would enroll in the fall. From close to home (University of Houston and The University of Texas at Austin) to across the country (Yale, Notre Dame, Howard University and Claremont McKenna College), 90% of YES Prep’s students are first-generation college-bound.
“The teachers and staff keep the students on track with their schoolwork and make sure they submit college and scholarship applications,” shared Alejandra Martinez. “It’s just amazing— wonderful support all around, even for us as parents.”
Urban School District Attributes Success to Family-Oriented Culture
As other schools across the country struggle with post-pandemic learning and enrollment woes, YES Prep’s students have earned millions of dollars in scholarships and acceptances to both public and private colleges and universities.
One student, Fabritcio Orozco, is the son of parents who immigrated to the U.S. to provide a better life for him. Orozco graduated this spring with nearly $800,000 in scholarships and will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall.
Full of success stories like Orozco, the district continues to open schools— a rarity in urban environments.
“YES Prep has realized success and growth over the past 24 years because we purposely operate small, integrated elementary and secondary schools,” said CEO Mark DiBella who has been with YES Prep since 2001. “We found that by creating a family-oriented culture at every campus, our students feel valued and supported throughout their time with us. And that support continues after graduation.”
In addition to being tuition-free, YES Prep provides meals, devices, transportation, special education, English language learning and access to healthcare, mental health and other student services.
“They helped our daughter not only get to college and earn almost a full ride, but they help their graduates throughout college and into their careers,” said Luis Martinez. “That’s the difference with YES Prep.”
ABOUT YES PREP PUBLIC SCHOOLS
YES Prep serves more than 17,000 students on 20+ campuses in Houston. YES Prep is advancing educational equity, leveling the playing field by providing opportunities for a high-quality, college-forward curriculum while also ensuring its students feel supported through their academic journey and empowered to lead choice-filled lives.
For more information or to enroll your child, please visit www.yesprep.org.
Launched in 2001, Senior Signing Day is YES Prep Public Schools' take on a ceremony that traditionally is reserved for star athletes playing Division 1 sports.