Houston Mayor Annise Parker praised HISD for giving students a variety of choices and opportunities, including single gender education, at a recent open house at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. The mayor also encouraged local business leaders to partner with HISD’s first all-girls school.
“Single-sex education can make a difference in the lives of young women and in the lives of young men,” Parker told the crowd of school staff, parents and local business professionals who came to learn more about the campus.
The YWCPA Road to College Open House on April 29 offered visitors a chance to mix and mingle with the students, tour the school and learn more how they can become involved and support the young women. The event was organized by Joan Eischen, an YWCPA advisory council member and Director of Oilfield Services at KPMG.
“This school is educating today’s young ladies to become leaders in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Eischen. “We need local companies and specifically women who work in STEM careers to mentor and encourage them and let them know about the world of opportunities available after high school.”
Mayor Parker was invited to speak at the open house because of her own background in STEM. Prior to serving as an elected official, she worked in the oil and gas industry as a software analyst for over 20 years. “You have a unique opportunity to add to something that was a new idea, brought to us by people with faith and a vision,” said Parker.
Parker also let attendees in on a little family history. Her own grandmother was a teacher for HISD and taught in the 1930s at the current site of the YWCPA campus. Back then it was known as Johnston Junior High School.