HISD Celebrates the Opening of Young Men’s College Prep Academy

The single-gender, college-prep school still has a few slots available for the current academic year

September 14, 2011

The excitement was contagious at the September 13 grand opening celebration at the Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy.

“I am just thrilled to share in this historic moment,” said HISD Board of Education Secretary Carol Mims Galloway, who is retiring this December after more than a decade of service to HISD. “My fellow board members and I, along with the entire HISD staff, have worked long and hard for this, and I know it is going to be a huge success.”

Galloway was joined by fellow trustees Paula Harris and Larry Marshall, as well as state representative and HISD graduate Harold Dutton, who pledged his support to the campus located at the historic E.O. Smith Education Center in Houston’s Fifth Ward community.

Dutton, like Galloway, grew up in the neighborhood surrounding E.O. Smith. “I want to say thanks to the school board, the principal, and all the teachers here for making this an experiment that I think bodes well not only for this community, but for the city, the state, and this nation,” said Dutton.

The single-gender, college-preparatory academy is the first of its kind at HISD. It joins the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, which also opened this school year. Both offer a rigorous curriculum designed to prepare students for success in college.

“Look around you. This a very special place,” Superintendent of Schools Terry B. Grier told the school’s sixth- and ninth-grade students. “My goal is for each and every one of you here to graduate and not only go to college, but to have a scholarship as well.”

The Young Men’s Academy was modeled after Chicago Urban Prep, which Galloway and Chief Middle Schools Officer Dallas Dance visited last year when the conversation first began regarding the creation of single gender academies within HISD. “I told the folks at Chicago Urban Prep that I was impressed by their efforts, but I also told them that I am a very competitive person,” said Dance. “I intend for this school to be the best urban prep school in the nation, and I know your principal and teachers want that as well.”

The campus currently has enrolled nearly 200 sixth- and ninth-grade students, but there is still room for a few more. “The young men at this school are the future leaders of tomorrow,” said Principal Dameion Crook. “I encourage everyone to visit and take a look at what we are doing.”