Mission: The organization's mission is to increase the number of yonkers public school students who complete a post-secondary program that prepares them for a successful career. Ypie partners with the yonkers public school district, business and philanthropic communities, and higher education institutions and relies on detailed data to drive our decisions and programs. Ypie believes that post-secondary success is key to meaningful and lasting improvements in the quality of life for our students and community.
Programs: College & career access programs ypie continues to operate full-time college & career centers in six of eight yonkers high schools: early college high school, gorton, riverside, lincoln, saunders trades and technical high school and yonkers middle/high school. Each center is staffed by an experienced, master's level college & career advisor, who provides students with one-on-one counseling to insure that they are actively exploring college and career options, establishing post-secondary goals and preparing for college and financial aid applications. The work of these advisors is complimented by ypie volunteers who have committed to work individually with students to make certain that there is an understanding of the college process and the tasks that must be completed. To assist students and families in successfully navigating the post-secondary and college planning processes, the centers provide among other services one-on-one support from an on-site ypie college & career advisor on academic planning, college/career goals and the college and financial aid application process, financial aid and scholarship assistance to educate both parents and students about aid and scholarship opportunities, college essay writing support, college campus tours to area colleges and universities to expose students to a variety of college options, a speakers bureau to introduce students to a range of professionals working in a variety of fields, college interview workshops and an alumni interview day. In addition, the college & career centers provide a designated space equipped with computers, online databases, college-tracking software, catalogs, videos, and areas for college visits/meetings.
middle school program, getting prepared for success (gps)ypie's middle school program, getting prepared for success (gps), is designed to prepare yonkers public school 7th and 8th graders for life in high school and beyond. Ypie's first four years of work in the yonkers high schools revealed a deep need for awareness and information in the middle years about the importance of being motivated, successful students who are well prepared for college and career. Ypie provides 7th and 8th grade students with a year-long, activity-based curriculum that prepares them for life in high school and beyond. Led by a ypie middle school college and career advisor and using a web-based system, naviance, students participate in interactive classes, and create individualized success plans and preliminary college portfolios. The gps program, which runs from october through may, includes 18-24 classroom modules, each designed to engage students in meaningful planning around their college and career choices. The curriculum, created by ypie, includes some of the following key components: naviance introduction, personal learning styles, career exploration, college research, middle school strategies for success and goal setting. Ypie's experience with the program has been enormously successful. Students have demonstrated both a significant increase in awareness about college and career choices and a desire to improve academic performance to increase options after high school graduation. Students' portfolios housed on the naviance system follow them to high school where they can continue to formulate their goals and plans. In addition to gps, this year ypie was able to offer students in one middle school a pilot web-based program in mathematics that was modeled after the khan academy. Ypie was able to supply students with chromebooks so that they were able to work individually, under the guidance of their math teachers, through the 7th and 8th grade math curriculum.
ypie scholarsthis year ypie introduced a program for 9th graders who had completed the gps middle school program. Students opted in to the program with the permission of their parents. Each student was assigned a volunteer "graduation coach", who committed to continue to mentor the student through high school. The coaches met with their students, one-on-one, twice monthly during the school day, to help them stay on track academically, explore their interests and aspirations and help position them for a post-secondary program that best matches their skills, interests and financial capacity. The program involved 70 volunteer coaches and 135 students.
ypie continued to provide usage of the naviance system to all yonkers public high school students as well as over 850 middle school students. High school students use the system not only to establish post-secondary goals but to facilitate the college planning process. For middle school students, naviance offers an opportunity to explore colleges and careers, putting them in an advantageous position as they plan to enter high school. The use of naviance has now provided ypie with much needed data pertaining to our school based programs and the students who are using them. Ypie continued to provide sat test prep tutoring with the services of veritas prep. The program included both classroom instruction and on-line instruction for over 150 students over an eight-week period. Ypie provided full scholarships to low-income, high achieving juniors in all yonkers high schools who met the criteria. Partial scholarships were also available for a greatly reduced fee. Ypie also continued edge-up, a one-on-one summer tutoring program matching a yonkers student with a college/graduate school student for six weeks of intensive tutoring to prepare for the october sat exam. Tutors and students met twice weekly to review sat strategies and exam questions and take practice tests. Students who have participated in these sat prep programs have seen their practice test scores and actual test scores rise dramatically over the course of the program from 100 to 400 points, boosting both their test taking skills and confidence. Ypie's el camino al exito program (the road to success) continued to impact latino students and their families with spanish-language college and career information and support. This year, ypie hosted seminars and meetings, attended by more than 300 families that addressed the issues facing latino students including the language barriers and the cultural issues that often make it challenging for latino families to access the full range of college options and financial aid. Ypie's el camino al exito program's multiple components included workshops and information sessions in spanish for students and families, focusing on a variety of topics of interest to latino families. These include: financial aid and immigration, standardized tests, how to prepare for life in college, and the admissions process. Ypie also organized college visits so that families can familiarize themselves with the campus experience and learn about the resources available to help students stay on track. All activities are conducted in spanish. Ypie completed another year of administering an arts in education program at the patricia dichiaro school, funded by the cove point foundation. This program is operated in agreement with the playgroup theatre offering music and theatre enrichment to students pre-k-8. The partnership also includes training of classroom teachers and offers to these grade-school students performance opportunities, integration of music across the curriculum, high quality resources and collaborations with cultural institutions. Ypie continued a successful partnership with essay busters, a nonprofit organization that helps high school students with their college admissions essays. Ypie is able to offer highly effective and personalized essay writing workshops to high school students throughout the district. Young professional mentors are paired with one or two students to guide them through the process. Eight essay buster sessions are held on saturdays in the fall at a local yps high school and cover all aspects of writing an effective, memorable college application essay. Ypie's career experience program gives students early exposure to career options and experiences working alongside professionals in the workplace. This helps high school students formulate ideas about their own interests and begin thinking about post-secondary planning. These programs offer students the opportunity to gain an understanding of workplace expectations, behavior, communication skills and time management. Ypie also insures that participating students have an opportunity to learn and practice job interview techniques, preparing them for future internships, college admission interviews and employment. An example of this program was ridge hill academy, an innovative, hands-on ten week program during which 25 yps students work on-site alongside professionals at ridge hill shopping center to learn about careers in the retail, lifestyle and restaurant management industries. Students receive a first-hand look at how operations, security, maintenance management, public relations and marketing support ridge hill's bustling complex. Regeneron pharmaceutical's sci2med academy is another example of this program that enabled 14 students to gain an in-depth view of a large pharmaceutical company. Over the 6-week academy, students met weekly with professionals who introduced them to careers in the stem field.