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Student Leadership Network celebrates 25 years of innovation and equity in education | Business

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 15, 2022–

This academic year marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Student Leadership Network (SL Network), an organization dedicated to educational equity by helping students from diverse underserved communities nationwide access education superior. During this pivotal year, SL Network is focused on expansion with the opening of two new schools for girls in the fall. Other priorities include expanding its college access programs to reach more students and increasing college graduation rates. SL Network has worked with nearly 50,000 young people to date, and through its successful network of schools and college preparation programs, the organization has cemented its legacy in educational innovation by providing the services and support needed to make equity in education a reality.

“My career in journalism spanned 19 years and during that time I reported on quite a few educational stories nationally. in this country, especially in underserved communities,” said Ann Rubenstein Tisch, Founder and President of SL Network. “We had failing school systems that left thousands of students undereducated. We were derailing generations of young people, leaving them on the paths of poverty and stagnation. I was moved to act; first with one school, then with 15 others. The Young Women’s Leadership School (TYWLS) in East Harlem was the first single-sex public school to open in the United States in over 30 years. It was founded on the principle that a quality education is a civic right. We succeeded because equity in education is a fair and just value.

Growth and expansion of a proven education model


The educational model that SL Network has built provides the structure and support needed to prepare students for success in higher education. Every student deserves equal access, tools, and support to pursue higher education. Unfortunately, there are still political, economic, and social barriers to college access that directly impact Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) representation in higher education. Part of SL Network’s mission is to ensure that these students have the chance to reach their full potential by providing them with the support and opportunities to bridge these gaps and explore higher education early in their academic journey – mostly from 6th grade. . This model is central to SL Network’s mission to achieve equity in education.

This fall, the organization will expand its footprint even further by opening two new single-sex schools in Staten Island and Las Vegas. TYWLS Staten Island will open with a class of 60 sixth graders, adding an additional year each year, through 12th grade. The Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Las Vegas is a tuition-free public charter school open to girls and gender-neutral students. This Young Women’s Leadership Network-affiliated school will open with up to 150 sixth and ninth graders and add one grade per year until it becomes a full middle and high school. It will focus on science and the arts and will be limited to 600 students when fully implemented. Both schools will focus on embracing the “whole girl” and empowering each student personally and civically.


Currently in a pilot phase, the Bridge Through College (BTC) program is a direct service program to support SL Network alumni who are campus-owned freshmen and who are reaching critical college persistence milestones. SL Network alumni who are college juniors and seniors are the peer leaders for this support. Research shows that close-to-peer models have been incredibly effective in increasing graduation rates, while positively contributing to many other benefits, such as building important social networks and a sense of belonging for students. All SL Network alumni will have access to tools and resources developed around three main program areas – financial aid renewal, financial planning and academic planning – through a robust and interactive alumni portal.

25th anniversary initiatives in 2022

In honor of the 25th anniversary, the organization is releasing a small book celebrating a cross section of alumni from the five NYC TYWLS schools over the years. The commemorative book will also include spotlights on graduates currently in leadership and mentorship positions, school leaders, faculty and staff.

Additionally, looking to the next 25 years, SL Network is focused on continuing to expand its footprint to bring the organization’s life-changing programs and schools to more students across the country. To this end, SL Network has launched the Equity in Education Pledge (EEP). This funding pledge is a call for philanthropists to raise $25 million in this milestone anniversary year. In an effort to support our work to disrupt cycles of generational poverty, EEP funds will be used to send more students to college and help more of those students graduate from college, while changing the face of leadership.

Other anniversary initiatives will be announced in the coming months.

“The continued work we do to achieve equity in education for all means a lot to our students and their families,” said Yolonda Marshall, Executive Director of SL Network. “We continue to create impactful programs and solutions that help close the socio-economic achievement gap in education, and the next step in our mission to support underserved students is to expand our reach to new communities. , new districts and new states.”

About the Student Leadership Network

Now in its 25th year, Student Leadership Network helps young people growing up in diverse underserved communities access higher education, helping them achieve their dreams. The organization impacts students at 26 New York public schools and 16 affiliated and partner schools for girls across the country. SL Network supports more than 20,000 students nationwide each year through its three pillar programs:

  • Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TYWLS)a high-performing network of all-girls NYC public schools
  • CollegeBound Initiative (CBI)a comprehensive university access program for young women and men.
  • Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN)a nationwide network of girls’ schools comprising six affiliated schools in California, Maryland, Missouri, New York and North Carolina, and our partner network of ten schools in Texas, the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN).

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SOURCE: Student Leadership Network

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PUBLISHED: 03/15/2022 13:00 / DISK: 03/15/2022 13:02