At YES Prep, we know that student success goes hand in hand with change and growth. We embraced the opportunity to review our mission statement to ensure our goals remain relevant to the evolving needs of our students and the communities we serve.
Therefore, we are excited to announce our new mission statement adopted recently by the Board of Directors, developed with robust stakeholder input and rooted in our commitment to ensuring all students are college-ready and have unlimited access to choice and opportunities.
Our new mission statement is:
YES Prep Public Schools empowers all Houston students to succeed in college and to pursue lives of opportunity.
Our goal is to prepare every YES Prep student for success in college and for the most rigorous post-secondary opportunities. For most of our students, we believe, alongside their families, that college is the best choice.
While we remain committed to removing barriers to college access for every YES Prep student, we also respect the autonomy of our students who wish to join the military and establish a wealth-building career immediately after graduation. YES Prep is committed to ensuring these and all students’ readiness for success. Above all, we want to equip all our students for self-determination and opportunities throughout their lifetime.
Former mission statement
For almost 25 years, we have wanted the same thing for our students: that they are prepared for success in college and a lifetime of choices and opportunity. This desire has been reflected in our previous mission statement: YES Prep Public Schools will increase the number of students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead.
However, due to our commitment to transformational change, we decided that while YES Prep’s mission is not fundamentally changing—because the core of YES Prep is not changing—it does need to be reexamined. We turned to our families, staff, Board, community members, students, alumni and advocates for their input. Our communities shared that in addition to keeping the mission statement concise and pithy, it should be thoughtful and consider the following:
“YES Prep needs to prepare students for what to expect in college.”
“The statement should be more geared towards how YES sets up and prepares all its students to be successful for college and beyond.”
“YES Prep has the ability to support their students to achieve career success.”
“Underserved is a representation of the students and families we serve; however, it does have a negative connotation to it and our families don't always view themselves in that manner.”
Our approach to revision
As we looked to revise our mission statement, we aspired to clarify our organizational purpose and make sure it is aligned with our current values and practice and use what we do best to differentiate ourselves from other public schools.
We also set initial criteria to ensure our mission statement remains representative of who we are and who we aspire to be. We determined the new statement must:
Include the explicit naming of college
Include the definition, spirit, or direction of equity as our core driver
Differentiate YES Prep from other public schools
Be objectively aligned to what we do and what we plan to do
Be community centric while avoiding deficit language
Highlight our commitment to the Houston community
Revitalized mission statement
The revitalized mission statement will honor the improvements our system has made--namely, our renewed focus on an inclusive environment where we honor our student’s agency and recognize that success in college increases access and opportunities.