YES Prep Public Schools
Nelly Zapata, YES Means a College Degree

My name is Nelly Zapata and I am a senior at YES Prep Northside. I wasn’t planning to attend YES Prep but my sister applied without telling me. The reason why she did it was because she knew I am talented, motivated and I love learning. She wanted something that academically challenged me and she knew YES Prep was the place for me. And I fell in love with this school from the very beginning. The trips, the teachers, the courses that I take, YES Prep is great!

Travel trips to China and Boston

Nelly Zapata

YES Prep has prepared me for college in many ways. An example would be my trip to China. Thanks to our school’s Chinese program, I was able to visit Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai for a total of seven days last summer. I went with my YES Prep Chinese teacher. It was such a great experience and a great opportunity to learn more about the culture. This trip had a great impact on my life. It made me realize that college is going to be great because I already traveled across the world. Plus, thanks to YES Prep, I have this unforgettable lifelong memory.

Nelly Zapata and friends

Last year, I also went on a school trip to Boston and I fell in love with every single college! My college counselor and I are currently working on a college list and I have added every single one of those colleges I visited. Thanks to trips like these, not only does it give me a chance to travel but it also gets me to explore different options. I get to meet different people and it prepares me for the diversity I will experience once I’m off to college. I think this is a great way to prepare myself for the four-year university I wish to attend.

Preparing for college with my college counselor

I am so thankful for YES Prep because they have prepared me and given me the resources I need to succeed. First , the teachers put in the time and effort to make sure that I have the support I need to achieve the high grades that will be required for getting into college. Additionally, YES Prep’s college counseling program is great. I have personal relationships with my college counselors and they connect me with student opportunities, like my trip to Boston and to China. My counselors always tell me that they are always available for questions. Thanks to them, I know I’ll be able to narrow down my college list.

Although I’m still not 100 percent sure what I want to major in or what my career will be, thanks to YES Prep I know that I want to attend  a four-year university. I will be the first in my family to graduate from college, and that’s one of my biggest motivations – to bring a degree back home. College seems like the right path for me because I’ve always loved school, I love learning and I’ve been keeping up with my grades. Attending college also means I'll have many more opportunities available to me after I graduate.

Motivated and college bound

Nelly Zapata family

As I mentioned, I will be the first in my family to graduate from college and bringing that degree home to my parents will mean a lot to them. It will be my way of thanking them for all their hard work and for everything that they’ve given me. My parents are my biggest motivation to go to college but YES Prep has also had a big role on my road to college too. My teachers and counselors have prepared me and given me my goal-oriented mindset. Because of them, I know that I can and will achieve my goals so long as I put my time and effort into it.


Student Lottery Application Now Open

The 2021-22 YES Prep student lottery application is now open! Families can now apply to one of our 23 schools serving grades PK - 3rd grade or grades 6 - 12. 

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