Every January, we take the opportunity to celebrate the community volunteers who serve on our YES Prep board for National School Board Recognition Month. This year, we would like to spotlight Dr. Andrea Link, who joined YES Prep’s board of directors last year.
Dr. Andrea Link graduated from Brown University and received her medical degree and training in pediatrics from Stanford University School of Medicine. After several years with Texas Children's Pediatric Associates, she joined Healthcare for the Homeless – Houston's Jail Inreach Project in Harris County. Link currently serves as the executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.
How did you learn about YES Prep?
I first learned about YES Prep as a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital. Later, when I started working in the nonprofit space, I heard wonderful things from families served by YES Prep. So, I have known for a long time that YES Prep provided an exceptional education and enjoyed an incredibly strong reputation amongst pediatricians and people working in human services.
But more recently, I have been lucky enough to have had a front-row seat to YES Prep because, as the Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, I have overseen projects that our Fellows have done with several YES Prep campuses, providing tutoring and support to students. And the quality of YES staff, from teachers to counselors to the home office, is truly second to none. All day, every day, the staff's goal is to provide the highest quality education to YES students.
Why did you join the YES Prep board?
My first time on any YES Prep campus was about six years ago when a friend invited me to participate in a career day – I was amazed by the students, staff and the school itself. I knew that if anyone at YES Prep asked me to be involved at any level, I would say yes!
Joining this board is such an honor and a privilege. I hope it will allow me to impact an area I am passionate about - health equity. It is well known that having access to high-quality education will affect your health outcomes because health equity isn’t just about access to health care – it is about access to housing, transportation, healthy food and a first-rate education. I am so excited to be a part of a school system that prioritizes student well-being and surrounds each child with a team that believes in and supports them at every level.
I am so excited to be a part of a school system that prioritizes student well-being and surrounds each child with a team that believes in and supports them at every level.
What impact do you hope to have sitting on the board?
I plan to take my background in pediatrics and my time in direct service to vulnerable communities and bring that perspective to the board. Since I now work with undergraduate and graduate students at the Schweitzer Fellowship, I can also bring an understanding of what is needed to thrive in higher education.
Can you share more about yourself?
Outside of my professional life, I take the most joy in my role as a wife and mother. I met my husband on the first day of medical school and we are celebrating our 29th anniversary in a few months. We have two kids – Kyra, who is in her second year of law school at the University of Texas, and Jack, a sophomore studying engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.
We always prioritized our kids’ education because I saw that education was the one thing no one could take away from you. My parents were refugees from the 1956 revolution in Hungary, leaving their home country with only the clothes on their backs. They spent many months in a refugee camp in Austria, hoping to come to the United States. But by the time they were eligible to leave, the US was closed to more Hungarian refugees, so they were flown to Australia, where they had to start literally from scratch – no savings, no housing and no connections.
As teenagers, my parents had to learn English while going to school and working on weekends to help support their families. The one thing that was non-negotiable for my grandparents was that my parents and their siblings could not leave school no matter what. My dad went on to medical school, and my mom went to art school, and later we finally got the chance to move to the United States, which was always their dream. I became a citizen when I was 20 years old and feel like I am the lucky beneficiary of their sacrifices.
Why would you recommend a family send their child to YES Prep?
From my position as a board member, I have seen that YES Prep’s mission to empower and educate students to pursue lives of opportunity is at the core of every decision that is made. What this means practically is that in decisions large and small, the organization is 100% centered on the needs of their students. If a family wants their child known, seen and cared for, this is the place. YES Prep shows students all the possible amazing directions their life can go and gives them all the tools they need to make those dreams a reality.
YES Prep shows students all the possible amazing directions their life can go and gives them all the tools they need to make those dreams a reality.
We want to thank Dr. Link and the rest of our board of directors for all they do for our students, families and staff.
To learn more about our board of directors and to view board notices, meetings and recordings, click here.