Young Women’s Preparatory Network named semifinalist for $1 Million grant

Midland ISD YWLA
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 3:53 PM CST
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DALLAS, Texas (KOSA) - The Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Midland is part of the Dallas-based Young Women’s Preparatory Network.

The YWPN is one of the 32 semi-finalists for the $1 Million Dollar Yass prize, given to schools that have sustainable, transformational, and outstanding permissionless education. The Preparatory Network was selected from a field of 3,000 applicants across 20 states as one of 64 quarterfinalists before moving on to the semifinal round.

As a semifinalist, YWPN will receive a $200,000 grant and if named a finalist, they receive an additional $50,000. The six finalists and the $1 million prize-winning school will be announced on December 14.

“This recognition really encapsulates what our network is all about. We are sustainable, transformational, outstanding, and permissionless in our approach, and as a result, our young women exceed academic expectations and prove all students, regardless of their background or socio-economic status, can excel if given the right opportunity,” says YWPN CEO Lynn McBee.

To date, YWPN’s primary focus and resources have gone to preparing students to get to college. YWPN will use its Yass Prize funding to establish stronger support systems for YWPN alumnae who are currently in college to improve the network’s 6-year college graduation rate. To do so, YWPN will invest in staffing to support each student’s individual needs, increase tracking and communications, and strengthen college mentoring and internships.

As a Yass Prize semifinalist, McBee and other YWPN educators are currently participating in a three-week virtual accelerator program that allows applicants to learn from one another as well as entrepreneurs, technology leaders, and investors. From there, in December YWPN will move on to an intensive, in-person accelerator program and pitch competition in Miami, Florida.

If received, the prize money would be invested in support programs to boost six-year college graduation rates for Alumnae of YWPN schools like the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Midland.