The newest graduating seniors at Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth are headed to universities with new supporters.
At the school's annual Signing Day event, held Thursday at the Fort Worth Convention Center, Dallas Mavericks announced the professional basketball team is strengthening its support to the first and only single-gender school for girls in Fort Worth ISD.
"When you start college, not only will you have your YWLA sisterhood, you will also have your YWLA teachers and staffs, you will have the continued support of the Foundation for the YWLA of Fort Worth," Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynthia "Cynt" Marshall told the graduates. "But, now you're going to have something else, too. [Do] you know what that is? You're going to have the Dallas Mavericks."
Dallas Mavericks gifted each of the 31 graduates of YWLA a new laptop, along with customized apparels from their respected colleges the graduates will attend.
Late last year, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had donated $100,000 to the Foundation for YWLA, which partners with Fort Worth ISD to provide funding for programs in the school.
YWLA was established in 2010, and its first class graduated in 2016.
This year's graduating class achieved 100% acceptance into a four-year university.
"We see it as a great opportunity, "Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner said. "Our students are not problems to be solved. In fact, they are assets to be invested in."
Following its tradition, this year's graduating class revealed their choice of universities they will attend this fall at Thursday's event.
The students will represent YWLA in at least 14 different universities, in and out of state.
"There is no group of students that better personifies the mission of our board of trustees, and that mission is to prepare all students for success in college, career and community leadership," Scribner said. "There's not a better example than these young ladies."
Out of the 31 graduates, at least 21 are the first in their family to graduate high school. Twenty-seven students in this year's graduating class will be the first in their family to attend college.
The class of 2019 has earned at least $11.8 million in college scholarships.
The seniors will graduate on June 2.
"This is not an accomplishment to take lightly, and it didn't come without an overwhelming amount of dedication, hard work, backup and support," said Kendra Strange, YWLA's College Bound advisor. "Many have come from a home that experiences challenges that most of the world will never experience, never understand and probably wouldn't know how to deal with it if it happened to them."