YES Prep Public Schools
Sybil Sanchez
Barbara Ruiz holding 2021 holiday card

Now in its fifth year, YES Prep has hosted its annual Holiday Card Contest where students from all our secondary schools are invited through their art classes to submit their artwork. Each participating art teacher submits their top entries, and our Advancement team then selects the art piece which will be used in that year’s holiday card sent out to YES Prep donors and friends. 

And the winner is...  

After reviewing the top entries submitted by YES Prep art teachers, we are happy to announce that the winning holiday card entry for the 2021 year comes to us from YES Prep Southeast Secondary. Sixth-grader Barbara Ruiz's Penguin Snow Globe art piece was inspired by a book she read when she was little. The children’s book was about a girl that lived in a snow globe that was only inhabited by animals. Barbara shared that she chose penguins to live in the snow globe because they are currently her favorite animals. 

We asked her art teacher Jennifer Crancer, eleventh grade level chair and AP Studio Art, Art II, Art III and middle school art teacher, to share with us a bit more about Barbara, she said, “Barbara is a quiet but mighty student artist who has jumped right into the creative wagon since day one! Watching her create is a joy. She is creative and an excellent support for her classmates. I hope she continues in the program and finds joy in being a lifelong creative individual!” 

About the artist 

To me, YES Prep means an accepting and comforting community. It is somewhere I can go to have fun and be happy while still learning and preparing to go to college.

Barbara Ruiz is a native Houstonian who has lived in the southeast community all her life. Both of her parents are from Mexico, and she has two older siblings: a sister who is currently in eighth grade at YES Prep Southeast Secondary and a brother that graduated from YES Prep Southeast last year and is currently studying to be an electrical engineer.  

When asked about how she likes attending YES Prep, Barbara said, “I was scared to come to YES Prep Southeast Secondary because none of my friends were coming but my brother and sister told me that the teachers were nice and that I'd like it. And so far I do. I’ve made friends and I enjoy most of my classes and all my teachers are great. I especially enjoy my ELA (English Language Arts) class because Ms. Arroyo really encourages us.” 

As for her career aspirations, Barbara hopes to one day go to a nice college and is interested in pursuing a career in clothing design. 

2021 Holiday Card finalists 

Rounding out the top ten entries for this year’s 2021 Holiday Card Contest are: 

YES Prep Southeast Secondary 

  • Denise Cubos, 12th grade - Art teacher: Crancer 
  • Celeste Torres, 12th grade - Art teacher: Ferguson 
  • Jaylene Yanez, 7th grade – Art teacher: Crancer 

YES Prep Northline Secondary 

  • Rodolfo Becerra, 10th grade - Art teacher: Healey 
  • Jacky Leonides, 10th grade - Art teacher: Healey 
  • Monserratte Machuca, 10th grade - Art teacher: Healey 
  • Edith Vargas, 10th grade - Art teacher: Healey 
  • Jacky Vargas, 10th grade - Art teacher: Healey 
  • Eleicia Zuniga, 10th grade - Art teacher: Healey

Congratulations to our talented YES Prep finalists! 

About the Holiday Card Contest 

Art submissions for our annual Holiday Card Contest usually begins in early October and are coordinated through YES Prep’s secondary schools’ art teachers.  

Check out our most recent holiday card winners: Christian Avila (2020) and Daniella Diaz (2019), both students are from YES Prep Southeast Secondary. 


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We are currently accepting applications for our student lottery for the 2022-2023 school year. Learn more and submit your application today by clicking here