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Roundup: Ripley House event educates voters

Ripley House event educates voters

First-time voters were celebrated during a special event Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the Ripley House Neighborhood Center that drew dozens of HISD high school students and their parents.

The Voter Education and Citizenship Celebration, sponsored in part by Univision 45 and Mi Familia Vota, was held to help new voters understand the electoral process.

Students and parents from Jones, Milby, North Houston Early College, East Early College, Chavez, Austin, Sam Houston, and Lee high schools participated in the event. Teams of students from each of the schools called eligible voters across Houston as part of a “High Schools Unite” phone bank.

Ripley House has already been drawing thousands of people for early voting over the past week and organizers hope Tuesday’s event will encourage even more people to cast their ballots.

Young Presidents’ Organization members shadow principals

The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) of Houston met at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center on Thursday, Oct. 25, for a Principal Shadowing Event.

The event was held to bring community business leaders together with local school leaders and principals to discuss the state of Houston-area schools, teachers, and students.

This year, the Houston YPO teamed up with Houston Independent School District, Spring Branch Independent School District, YES Prep Public Schools, and KIPP Public Charter Schools-Houston to discuss such topics as school reform, educational leadership, and teacher effectiveness. The event was designed to open the lines of communication between community and school leaders and to increase awareness of the strengths and challenges for local public school systems.

Local CEOs and business owners listened as a panel featuring HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier, Spring Branch Superintendent Dr. Duncan Klussmann, and YES Prep President Jason Bernal discussed the state of local schools.

Each CEO was paired with a local principal or school leader, sitting in on meetings and observing teachers and students.

Miss America brings encouraging message to students

Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, brought a message of encouragement, determination, and persistence to the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy during a recent visit to the school.

Kaeppeler spoke about how she never thought she would be successful, much less named Miss America, since her father was sent to prison while she was in high school.  That’s why she chose mentoring to children whose parents are incarcerated as her platform.

Kaeppeler says she is thankful for her past and said it was other people believing in her that led her on the path to success, explaining that the four points of her crown represent service, scholarship, style, and success.  During her speech, Miss America recited one of her favorite quotes from Oprah Winfrey, “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, the ability to triumph begins with you always.”