On Monday, November 7, YES Prep planned to host its annual Leading Houston Forward Luncheon where we intended to celebrate our YES Prep educators. With the Houston Astros World Series victory parade taking place next to our event venue in Downtown Houston, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel the luncheon. However, despite our event’s cancelation, our plans continued for a week of gratitude to recognize our school staff for all they do each and every day. Our educators are the heart and soul of our achievements. They care for our students, strive for results, are resilient under pressure, and have a deep passion for the mission.
YES Prep educators’ impact is not only in the classroom but also citywide. Recognizing the invaluable work that they do, the City of Houston proclaimed November 7 as YES Prep Educators Day! On the importance of our educators’ work, our CEO Mark DiBella shared, “My vision for YES Prep educators is that they don’t see their work as small, they see their work as massive, they see the impact outside of their classroom, they see their work as a larger system of change that we are implementing in our city.”
My vision for YES Prep educators is that they don’t see their work as small,...they see their work as a larger system of change that we are implementing in our city.” -Mark DiBella
We are grateful for YES Prep educators who put in the work, every day. Jorge Guerrero, a YES Prep Southeast Secondary teacher and a YES Prep Class of 2013 alumnus, shared when he knew he was making a difference in the lives of his students. “I knew I was making a difference in my classroom when I have the student who doesn’t necessarily feel as confident to raise their hand, and then one day you ask a question, and their hand is the first one up in the air. That moment makes it worth it.”
YES Prep educators are the heart and soul of our organization. Alejandra Muñoz, YES Prep Director of Alumni Affairs and YES Prep Class of 2004 alumna, shared how Keith Desrosiers, YES Prep content director, or “Mr. D,” as his students fondly call him, impacted her life as a student. “So I started at YES Prep as a seventh grader at the Southeast campus. I didn’t know I was good in math until I was in Keith Desrosiers’s class, but we called him Mr. D. When you are in high school you really don’t know what you want to do. Having a teacher that can pick your strengths and encourage you to develop those was what Mr. D was really good at and helped me, as a student, later on figure out what kind of major I was going to pick.”
Our YES Prep educators not only impact our students’ lives; our students also impact our educators! Keith Desrosiers, YES Prep Content Director, is one of our longest-serving educators and he shares how teaching at YES Prep has impacted him. “Working with kids, seeing them grow, seeing them struggle, crying with them through the difficulties, celebrating with them their accomplishments, and getting to do that with them day after day, and I know I didn’t think about being impacted so deeply by the students and the teachers and the other leaders in my life and would really redefine who I am as an adult.”
Our YES Prep educators lead our mission through their dedication. Amanda Jones, YES Prep Southside Elementary teacher, explains the special qualities an educator has in order to have an impact in our students’ lives. “What I think makes educators special is our tenacity. This is not an easy job. It’s super difficult but for us to want to get up and come to work every single day and do the hard and gritty work, to come in and really impact kids and families every single day is something that…it’s my dream. I’m living my dream every single day.
YES Prep educators are one of a kind. They believe in endless possibilities for ALL students. Akeia King, YES Prep Managing Director of Talent, expressed why she believes our educators are special. “YES Prep educators are special, number one because they believe in endless possibilities for all students. They don’t set a ceiling for what students can do. They also create just really warm and really welcoming environments for our students where they are able to be affirmed in their identities inside and outside the classroom.”
YES Prep educators are special...because they believe in endless possibilities for all students." -Akeia King, Managing Director of Talent
We are in awe of the life-changing work our YES Prep educators do day in and day out. Check out the video below to hear what inspires our YES Prep educators!