Recovering from Harvey Takes Teams

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 1.27.03 PMHurricane Harvey resulted in widespread flooding across the city, displacing many YES Prep students, alumni, staff, and their families. YES Prep reopened its doors to all campuses (except SBISD partnership campuses) on September 7 with 94% of students in attendance.*

To open our doors, 3640 linear feet of drywall had to be replaced, 14 different contractors (a group of about 300 people) mobilized to make repairs, and 250+ fans/dehumidifiers/air scrubbers were deployed to dry impacted buildings.

The feat was possible because of the tireless work of many YES Prep teams. The following shout-outs have been adapted from an all-staff communication CEO Mark DiBella sent on 9/7/17.

  • Shout out to all of our amazing Student Support Counselors for being on the front line supporting our students who have experienced significant trauma and loss and for rebuilding our city in the most compassionate way imaginable—one child at a time!
  • Shout out to the Advancement team for decisively launching our volunteer and donation drives and coordinating our campus and system efforts!
  • Shout out to all the volunteers from across the system, especially the Campus Give and Take Coordinators, who have driven every inch of the city to make sure that our families have the resources they need!
  • Shout out to the Communications and Marketing team, for boldly advocating for our DACA recipients and for making sure that our relief efforts, including our Relief Fund and Amazon Wishlist were broadcast all over the country and world.
  • Shout out to the Academics team for springing into action to make sure that we had relevant lessons and appropriately adjusted long term plans to ensure that our students still get the excellent lessons they deserve this year!
  • Shout out to the Talent Support team and Finance team (especially Payroll) for making sure we focused on students without losing sight of talent as the source of our strength!
  • Shout out to the Compliance team for making sure we still met deadlines to stay in compliance as a system!
  • Shout out to our Operations teams for making sure that every child at YES Prep had the food they needed to eat, that our buses and drivers were able to transport students, and that our facilities were ready to welcome students on 9/7.
  • Shout out to the School Directors and campus leadership teams for meeting to plan out all, and I mean all, the details of our relaunch!
  • And finally, shout out to the teachers of YES Prep, many of whom have experienced significant personal loss, for standing bravely in front of thousands of students on the first day back, and, with just the right mix of urgency, patience, and compassion leading us back to what we were born to do—eliminate educational inequity.

*Moisture was later discovered in the Brays Oaks campus, and it was closed for a week to allow for containment and repair.

To purchase the hoUSton t-shirt (image above), a Kintigo design benefitting YES Prep’s Flood Relief Fund, please visit

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