YES Prep Public Schools
Samantha Ramirez

Before they served YES Prep students and our school communities, they served our country.

This year, in honor of Veterans Day, we asked our YES Prep veterans to share a little about themselves and what advice they have for our students considering joining the military after they graduate from YES Prep. Here is what they had to say:

Camerae’ Burton

School: YES Prep Northwest Secondary

Title: English teacher and sixth grade level chair

Military branch: Air Force

Dates Served: December 2014 – December 2018

Enlisting in the military ’is a big step, but so worth it! The military takes care of your health care, dental, dorm housing, education, and you receive so many other benefits! You also learn lifelong skills and build long lasting relationships and friendships with people from various places around the world! There are so many different jobs you can do too! The military is no longer just deployments and artillery. That can be a part of the experience depending on the job, however there are other jobs available as well like human resources, finance, legal, supply, security, loadmasters, medical, and the list goes on! Whether you join for four, six, 12 or 20 years, it is up to you on how long your enlistment is and how long you’d like to stay. I served for four years in and thoroughly enjoyed my enlistment! Do your research, make a goal, contact a recruiter and make it happen. You CAN do it!”

Ronald Castro

School: YES Prep White Oak Secondary

Title: Interpersonal Studies teacher

Military branch: Navy

Dates Served: 2000 – 2003

“Every job in the real world exists in the military. Enjoy getting out of your comfort zone. My biggest delight, besides giving back to my country, is that I have a brotherhood forever. We have each other's backs. That means not only recent vets but WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. We are connected through shared experiences and love for our country.”

Tyrone Eugene

School: YES Prep Northline Secondary

Title: Behavior Support Specialist

Military branch: Air Force

Dates Served: November 1985 – June 2009

“It is a great honor to represent this country and what it stands for. It’s not perfect, because we are not perfect, but being part of team that trains together, lives together, raise families together and respects each other was one of the most amazing opportunities I ever had. I served more 23 years, visited 10 different countries and I don’t regret any of it. Aim High Air Force!"

Lisa Graves

School: YES Prep White Oak Secondary

Title: Math teacher

Military branch: Air Force

Dates Served: 1998 – 2001

“The military is a great career path to take. Do research in each branch and make the best decision for you. You have the opportunity to travel and meet different people of all cultures. The experience was an awesome one. You are taught discipline, values and teamwork.” 

Jon Hirsch

YES Prep Home Office

Title: Cloud Engineer

Military branch: Army

Dates Served: January 2002 – June 2005

“Talk to someone with military experience, that is not a recruiter, about expectations so that you get an accurate view of military life. I also recommend that you choose a military occupational specialty that can translate to a civilian job after the military.”

Earl Malveaux

School: YES Prep Gulfton Secondary

Title: Pre-Calculus teacher

Military branch: Army

Dates Served: September 2001 – October 2021

“The military offers resources that many people do not have because you have to sacrifice things that others will not. Speak to each branch you are interested in so you can make an informed decision.”

Wilson Mcknight

School: YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary

Title: Behavior Support Assistant

Military branch: Army

Dates served: November 2006 – November 2014

“Be the best you can be, never allow yourself to give up, and if you are unsure, always ask questions!”

Dustin Mikkelson

School: YES Prep East End Secondary

Title: Athletic Director

Military branch: Army

Dates Served: August 2006 – October 2012

Make sure you do your homework on each branch and match your interests with the best fit for you! Have a plan going in and utilize all the resources provided to help reach your goals! RLTW (Rangers Lead The Way)!”

Antowana Richardson 

School: YES Prep East End Secondary

Title: Art Teacher

Military branch: Army

Dates Served: October 2010 – April 2016

“The military is a great opportunity to grow physically, mentally and emotionally. You get to travel the world and meet people from all walks of life. They become your battle buddies. The friendship you develop with these individuals are like no other. They pay for your college and, in my opinion, having military experience changes your whole mindset for the better because of the core values that they instill in you.”

Charles Ross Jr.

School: YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary

Title: Algebra l teacher and ninth grade level chair

Military branch: Army

Dates served: February 2008 – February 2020

“Go for it! Serving your country is the greatest feeling you can have. It's an honor to protect my family, friends and all the people of the United States.”

Not only do we want to thank these teachers and staff for sharing their advice with our students today but we also thank them for their service to our country.

Today and every day, thank you veterans for all you have done to protect life, liberty and justice.