On October 3, 2022, YES Prep hosted its 16th Annual College Fair back in person at the Stafford Centre. After two years of adapting to a virtual college fair environment, over 3,400 primarily junior and senior students had the opportunity to interact with representatives from over 120 colleges and universities from across the United States. Representatives in attendance included Ivy League Universities, Community Colleges, HBCUs, service academies, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Public State Universities, and adult transition program.
Hosting the College Fair during the school day
YES Prep empowers our students by connecting 100% of our 3,400 juniors and seniors with college admissions officers at our annual College Fair. By hosting the fair during the school day, YES Prep is fulfilling its commitment to higher education by being a core part of our students' experience.
Most school districts offer college fairs outside of the school day, usually in the evening. We offer our college fair every year, during the school day, in lieu of some classes, to remove access barriers our students may have such as transportation, work and family obligations. This allows 100% of our junior and senior classes to participate. In a recent survey of our senior class, 80% shared they will be working during their senior year.
What’s new at College Fair this year
We also welcomed the founding classes of juniors from YES Prep Northline Secondary and sophomores from YES Prep Northwest Secondary. The College Fair has traditionally been open to juniors and seniors only but to strengthen Northwest’s college-bound culture, we welcomed Northwest’s underclassmen! Their attendance is important because these founding classes, along with all our YES Prep secondary campuses, are paving a path for their families and their schools' younger grade levels. Ninety percent of YES Prep students are first-generation college bound.
What our students are saying about the College Fair
Because our soon-to-be graduates have experienced the past several years learning in a pandemic environment, we asked a handful of students to share their experience on what it’s like to attend one of Houston’s largest college fairs.
Sarahi Sandoval, Senior, YES Prep Eisenhower
Since we live in Houston and not every college is close to us, the college fair gives me the chance to go visit schools like University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M all in one place! I feel like it helps a lot to come during school to a college fair and not after school or during the weekends. I am captain of our dance team at YES Prep Eisenhower High, and we’re really busy on certain days. We also have football games and practices where I don’t get out of school until 7 p.m. My parents work a lot too. I know a lot of people that are in extracurricular activities and a lot of parents can’t drive them to a fair.
Antonio Chavez, Senior, YES Prep North Forest
It's hard to get to a college fair because I work after school during the week so I don’t have time. I’m glad YES Prep does things like this to let me visit colleges during school.
What I’m most excited about today is that I will get to learn about different colleges, especially my dream college, Rice University. I get to see a variety of colleges and learn about their majors and about the programs I’m interested in. Right now, I’m undecided but some subjects I’m leaning toward are pre-med, political science or criminal justice. It's hard to get to a college fair because I work after school during the week so I don’t have time. I’m glad YES Prep does things like this to let me visit colleges during school.
Ayaan Walthall, Senior, YES Prep Southside
I’m excited to go meet reps from LSU, Prairie View A&M and the schools out in Alaska and Hawaii because I’ve never heard of schools out there. I’m excited to check those out as well...among many others. And a special shoutout to YES Prep Southside, the best campus there is!
Alexa Medrano, Junior, YES Prep Northline
YES Prep gives students a lot of opportunities that most other high schools don’t.
What I’m excited about at the college fair is looking at and learning more about my future. That means looking more into universities that are in-state and out-of-state. Schools I’m excited to check out are University of Houston, Rice University and Texas A&M. Outside of that, I like schools that provide diversity and have a great opportunity to be in the community.
YES Prep gives students a lot of opportunities that most other high schools don’t. If I wasn’t offered the opportunity to come to the College Fair with YES Prep, I would not have attended a college fair because I feel like I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go speak to reps without YES Prep supporting me. Also, I don’t have the time or the people to take me to a college fair because my family is really busy and what they do is time-consuming.
Wesly Banegas, Senior, YES Prep Northbrook High School
I’m mostly excited to be able to learn about the colleges that are here. I only had two in mind, but it seems like a great opportunity for me to learn about more colleges for the degree I’m going for. Right now, I’m between directing, cinematography and acting at either HCC or Prairie View A&M.
Desiree Herrera, Senior, YES Prep Fifth Ward
It gives me a chance to go visit my top choices which are University of Houston-Downtown, Schreiner University and schools located in San Antonio like University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) or Texas A&M University-San Antonio. My sister and my friend are also excited to see these schools as well. We all share the same top choices.
Thanks to all the staff, students and university representatives who make our YES Prep College Fair a success! To learn more about our College Initiatives at YES Prep, click here.