YES Prep Public Schools
Aaron Jay Ledesma
North Central Senior Walk 2024

Every May, YES Prep is filled with excitement and celebrations for our pre-K through 12th grade students. One of the highlights of the year is Senior Walks, a time when our communities with both elementary and secondary schools come together to unite and inspire our youngest SPARKS toward higher education and promising futures. 

Elementary students celebrate seniors  

Since opening our first two elementary schools in 2020, our school communities have embraced the tradition of Senior Walks, leading up to YES Prep’s best day of the year, Senior Signing Day. During these events, our elementary students witness seniors declaring their college destinations, bringing a real sense of possibility to even our youngest students. 

“We have been invested in bridge building work from the moment we knew we would welcome YES Prep elementary students to the Southeast Houston community,” says Southeast Secondary Principal Emily Ryans. “Senior Walks is just one part of building and celebrating traditions that have helped maintain and preserve trust and excitement in what YES Prep offers to families who choose us.” 

Introducing the pathway to success 

Southeast Elementary Principal Matt McMahan hands out awards at the schools inaugural 5th Grade Ceremony.

Southeast Elementary Principal Matt McMahan hands out awards at the schools inaugural 5th Grade Ceremony.

It is heartwarming to see our youngest SPARKS catch a glimpse of their potential futures at YES Prep and to witness the connections Senior Walks form between our elementary and secondary schools. 

“We wanted to create community and unity between Southeast Elementary and Secondary,” says Southeast Elementary Principal Matt McMahan. “It allows our SPARKS to see the possibility of an excellent education at YES Prep and begin to get excited about the years ahead of them.” 

Picture this: elementary students stepping out of their classrooms to find high school seniors proudly parading through the halls in their graduation caps and gowns. The expressions of awe and excitement on the faces of our youngest students are unforgettable as the seniors pass through the elementary wing. High fives are given, future dreams are shared and inspiration begins to Spark! 

Inspiration begins early

North Central Senior Walk 2024

“From an early age, it is important for our students to know what is possible for them,” says Managing Director of College Initiatives Roberto Treviño. “As seniors walk through the halls of our elementary schools, our SPARKS see students who look like them, who are from their communities, and in many cases, who are related to them. Our seniors can be their inspiration and their realization that going to college is a possibility for them.” 

Our Senior Walks have quickly become a cherished tradition at YES Prep. They offer a powerful way to illustrate to our elementary families and students the journey that lies ahead. Seeing our graduating seniors in their regalia shows younger students that college is attainable and that big dreams can be realized through dedication and perseverance. The joy of the elementary students and the pride of our seniors make the senior walk an event not to be missed. 

Building a stronger community 

North Central Senior Walk 2024

This tradition has been a hallmark for YES Prep North Central Elementary and Secondary, creating a stronger sense of community between the neighboring schools. 

“As the principal of the YES Prep North Central Secondary from 2014-2019, I understand the power of Senior Signing Day and the impact it has on future graduates,” says North Central Elementary Principal Michelle LaFlure. “Beginning in sixth grade, students look forward to the day when they will declare where they are going to college. I wanted to bring the power of this moment to elementary to instill confidence in my students that they will be prepared one day to attend college if that is what they choose.” 

Moments like this remind us of our mission—to empower all Houston students to succeed in college and to pursue lives of opportunity. 

Creating lifelong memories 

“This day is one of my favorites and is now a core memory,” says North Central Secondary Principal Lilian Macias. “Seeing the enthusiasm from our seniors and elementary students helps reignite the flame of why our students deserve the best education. It consistently reminds elementary students of our end goal. It builds ownership and creates a strong school spirit. Our families and community participate in the celebration and remind us that, to be successful, we must work together. It is an unforgettable experience for all who participate.” 

At YES Prep, we believe that dreams are worth pursuing and achievements are worth celebrating and it all begins in pre-K! 

Join the YES Prep family and be a part of our high-achieving community! Apply today to give your child the opportunity to chase their dreams and achieve their goals with an education they deserve. Visit to start your journey with YES Prep. 

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