YES Prep Public Schools
Faith Hunter-Brantley, English Content Specialist

During the months of April and May, Intro to Rhetoric and Composition (IRC) students study the causes and impact of limited access to education for girls around the world.  

The documentary (and book), Girl Rising, serve as a launching point for weeks of research and planning for student-driven social action projects. These capstone projects are presented on individual campuses, and the top projects go on to represent each campus at the district event, the Girl Rising Exhibition. 

This year, six campuses sent representatives to YES Prep’s Spindletop conference center at the Home Office for the exhibition on May 19, 2022. In attendance were students, teachers, parents, district staff and a special guest representative from the nonprofit organization United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT). Taylor Johnson, outreach and prevention coordinator for UAHT, praised the students’ advocacy work. “The impact of young people talking about issues like HT, lack of education for girls in developing countries, and more is bigger than I think we know. It incentivizes not only the students creating the projects but their peers to care about issues they normally wouldn’t even know about. In students’ day-to-day life, they have way more ability to act than they realize, and it’s vital to bring that to their attention.” 

Junior reflection on project

Celeste Fuentes, North Forest, Girl Rising project

I asked Celeste Fuentes, a junior at YES Prep North Forest Secondary, about her experience preparing for the Girl Rising project. Celeste chose to focus on the stigma of the menstrual period on girls’ access to education in developing countries.  

Why is it important to advocate for education equality? 

“Through privilege, we can bring awareness to those who aren't aware of the lack of education for those in other areas. By recognizing the fact [that] we can attend school for free, we are able to realize that we are privileged in that aspect which further motivates us to bring change wherever we can. I am grateful to have an education, thus I would want to elevate the voices of those who are not as privileged as me.” 

What impact did participating in the Girl Rising project have on you? 

“I wanted to cry genuinely, but in a happy way. This project made me realize how much more I can help others and if helping others through my art can bring this sense of emotional responsibility to them, that is what I want. I represented my school and represented these girls who are not able to attend school [during] their menstruation, and that is not fair for them. This project really opened my eyes, and I am grateful for the opportunity to study it and present it for the district.” 

Below you can watch Celeste’s animated short, Destigmatize the Period.

 


About the Author  
Faith Brantley

Faith Hunter-Brantley currently serves as English content specialist on the Academics team. She has been with YES Prep since 2005 as a middle school, then high school English and theater teacher.  Faith graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a degree in Business Administration. She also holds a master’s degree in Sociology of Education from Union Institute and University. A passionate advocate for project-based learning, Faith hopes to continue planning and coordinating “opportunities that would not otherwise exist” for YES Prep students.