- Our Community
We establish and maintain mentorship-based partnerships because they serve as a vital extension of our district’s mission to aid every student’s identification and growth of their interpersonal, academic and professional goals.
Kawana Coulon (Director of Wellness and Counseling Services at YES Prep)
Mentorship is more than a relationship, it’s a way to impact individuals from all walks of life to walk into their purpose.
Since 1998, our YES Prep staff, teachers and community partners have fully committed to blazing that path and redefining possible for our students, proving that different outcomes are possible when students from underserved communities are given access to opportunities, authentic leadership and transformative relationships.
A Westside Story | Meet Mrs. Warner
Enter Rachel Warner, the middle school student support counselor at YES Prep West, who has served in this role for the past four years. Coming from a military family, Warner’s experience living statewide and overseas gave her a sense of adventure and zest for life that she gets to share with her students.
“I’m what most people call a “military brat” meaning that where I’m from is actually where I’m living. Having lived in a variety of settings, urban, rural, overseas and stateside, I have been fortunate to live in various diverse environments leading to an eclectic view on life.”
Warner shared with us that she values the opportunity to mentor students at her campus because it gives her a chance to make a difference in their lives.
“When I was contacted by YES Prep to share my experience with mentorship, I was a little shocked as I never considered the work I did on West campus as mentoring; [however] I’ve always had a passion for working with young women and a desire to cultivate female empowerment that fostered individual confidence leading to positive relationships among young women.”
What Mentorship Means for Students
Mentorship is a passion many of our staff and teachers share that never goes unnoticed. Take Andrea Reyes for example, one of Warner’s mentees. Reyes has been a part of Warner’s mentor programs for two years, including Black Girls Rock (a space for girls to develop skills to build self-reliance and resilience by being a girl of color), Q.U.E.E.N.S. for the Culture (Quintessential Unity through Education and Encouragement for Next-level Sisterhood for the Culture) and Girls on the Run.
One day, Reyes discovered flyers posted around the school for each club and reached out to Warner who then shared about the opportunity to connect with other girls in the school, including high school and in Reyes’ grade level.
“When I first came to the school, I was very shy but over time this changed. Throughout sixth and seventh grade I would just follow what other people would say and do, but now that I’m in eighth grade I’m more of a leader and am making decisions for myself.”
Having the opportunity to be around teachers and other girls allowed Reyes to see herself as true success leading into the future. Being a part of mentorship clubs brought her more confidence to “come out of her shell”, make new friends and meet new people. Reyes used mentorship to help her realize her full potential.
“We support each other and lift each other up. I even signed up to be a model in a fashion show due to my connection with these clubs. I’m a better person now. I realize I have more confidence and feel hopeful about my future.”
Warner and Reyes’ story serves as just one example of many strong mentorship bonds that are made at YES Prep.
January is National Mentorship Month
According to the National Mentoring Resource Center, nine million youth grow up without a mentor outside their family. This is why our YES Prep community partnerships have been established to meet the support needs of students and families across all our campuses.
In honor of National Mentorship Month, we are sharing all the amazing work our YES Prep community is involved in and where your students can find mentorship opportunities. Continue scrolling to view a list of our more popular mentorship programs offered to YES Prep students.
GIRLS ON THE RUN
Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization that seeks to support young girls starting in 3rd grade through 8th grade by integrating physical activity and personal growth lessons that lead girls to learn more about themselves, become independent and critical thinkers, develop skills to write their own stories and to find inner strength both mentally and physically.
BOYS TO MEN TEXAS
Serving as one of our more popular programs, Boys To Men Texas is designed to create safe spaces for both boys and mentors to develop positive and healthy relationships built on honesty, consistency, and accountability.
FIRST AND GOAL
First and Goal is a Virtual Equip 24/7 Mentoring and Leadership Development Program dedicated to developing ways to change the problems at the heart of our students, campuses, and communities.
M.E.N. INC assists young men with finding a realistic and obtainable balance spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally and otherwise through mentorship and education.
WOMEN’S RESOURCE OF GREATER HOUSTON-RISE PROGRAM
The Women’s Resource program provides at-risk 9th and 10th grade girls with life skills training relevant to financial, professional, and personal success
All of the listed mentorship programs are available at all of our 21 YES Prep secondary campuses throughout Houston.