The Foundation for the Young Women's Leadership Academy of Fort Worth exists to support the Young Women's Leadership Academy of Fort Worth (YWLA), the first and only single-gender public school for girls in the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD). YWLA opened its doors to 6th and 7th graders in August 2010 and graduated its first class in in June 2016. Through a dynamic learning experience, YWLA provides girls in 6th-12th with a college preparatory curriculum that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as visual arts and prepares young women for fields in which they are traditionally underrepresented. Through STEM education (with a visual arts component to stimulate growth in both hemispheres of the brain), we support innovation and outside the box thinking of our Young Women's Leadership Academy students. Our exceptional teachers give them the competitive edge to stand out among their peers.
Over 72% of YWLA students qualify for free and reduced lunches and 70% will be first generation college students. Of the 468 students enrolled at YWLA, 65% are Hispanic, 22% African American, 8% Caucasian, and 5% are Asian/American Indian/Multi. We serve the girls who need it most.
Each year hundreds of thousands of low-income students face barriers to college access and success. They often lack the guidance and support they need to prepare for college, apply for the best-fit schools, apply for financial aid, enroll, and persist in their studies and ultimately graduate. The Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth (YWLA), proudly supported by the Foundation for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth (Foundation) inspires and empowers every student, regardless of background, to find success in academics, college, career, and life.
The Foundation focuses its fundraising efforts on supporting the core values of YWLA:
- College Preparation: Our goal is to have 100% of students attend and graduate from high school. Educational enhancement programs supported through grants and donations provide year-round learning in math, science, and technology. Training and enhancement opportunities for teachers ensure they are exceptionally prepared and equipped.
- Responsible Leadership and Service: Girls are taught responsible decision-making and accountability and the importance of community service and global awareness to awaken and strengthen their leadership potential.
- Health and Wellness Life Skills: Daily physical activity, nutritional education and application and making smart choices are critical to long-term health and happiness of students. We work to ensure our students can care for themselves physically and mentally, so they can be at their best in the classroom and in life.
Despite the adversity and disadvantages our students face, they possess a strong will to achieve and the support of their teachers, staff, and administration. This environment of support and academic rigor has achieved recognition for YWLA, both locally and nationally. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked YWLA #1 in Fort Worth Independent School District, #8 in DFW, #21 in Texas, and#130 in the nation.