Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria Parent Organization Celebrates 25 Years –

The parent organization of the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, the Student Leadership Network, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, along with a long list of accomplishments.

Astoria Public School, a branch of the Student Leadership Network, serves students in grades six through 12 and aims to help students in underserved communities explore a STEM education. With a 94% college enrollment rate and top competitors in extracurricular STEM activities, the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria (TYWLSA) has much to be proud of.

Laura Gross, senior executive director of girls’ education, said this school stands out for its rigorous curriculum fused with strong social-emotional support.

“The incredible administrators who run these schools have access to a network of educators who share the same values ​​and goals, creating a support system not only for the students, but also for the principals who help them build their future,” Gross mentioned.

Gross mentioned that TYWLSA students are often the first in their families to attend college. Currently, approximately 575 students are enrolled at TYWLSA, mostly from Astoria and Jackson Heights.

“Many young people in the communities we serve have not had access to resources regarding the college application process, how to apply for financial aid and other tools that make a huge difference when considering options for their academic future,” Gross said.

Every TYWLSA student can sit down with an advisor to plan their future, whether it’s a four-year college, a two-year associates program, trade school, or a career. a full-time job.

“Every student is ready to succeed, whatever that means to them,” Gross said.

Mia Soret, a Jackson Heights-area resident and student at TYWLSA, credits her school with helping her feel empowered and ready to step into a male-dominated field.

“Often, even in my greatest struggles in class or after school activities, I had staff and students who helped me be the best version of myself,” Soret said. “Especially these days, with the stress of being a teenager and in the midst of a pandemic, having support and people who can make you laugh and hold you accountable is extremely important and beneficial.”

Soret hopes to achieve financial stability when she graduates, by finding a career that extends her passion for technology and business.

“For my future, I hope that wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I would like to be happy and content, to live a little without stress,” Soret said. “I want to have a job where every day I wake up excited to be there and excited to keep learning.”

Soret was able to explore his STEM interests through robotics, software programming, coding and more at TYWLSA. She even participated in a program that helps bring technology to underrepresented schools around the world; she had the opportunity to travel to Mendoza, Argentina, and taught robotics to elementary school students.

Another student, Nora Anzer from Astoria, said female empowerment has been instilled in her and her peers since sixth grade.

“I have always felt motivated by the teachers and staff to take any opportunity given to me,” Anzer said. “For example, my team and I created our own line of jewelry and sold it to staff and students at our school. This is more important than ever as it can seem daunting to step into a male dominated field like business, but with TYWLSA’s support, I feel like it’s not a barrier for me.

TYWLSA is one of five New York City schools affiliated with the Student Leadership Network. TYWLSA and its partner schools use a “Whole Girl Education” framework based on research-based practices, such as focusing on student voice and minding rituals to achieve academic readiness and leadership.

Admission to TYWLSA is based on a lottery system, open to girls and gender-broad students free of charge. This fall, the Student Leadership Network is expanding its footprint by adding two new single-sex schools in Staten Island and Las Vegas.

Mara R. Wilmoth