YES Prep Professionals Annual Back to College Bash Raises Over $25,000

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On May 23, 2019, YES Prep Professionals (YPP) hosted their annual Back to College Bash at Saint Arnold’s Brewing Company. Attendees enjoyed beer, tacos, games, and live music by Havoc Wagon. Guests were invited to represent their colleges by wearing their college colors or gear.  

Speakers of the Night

Among the speakers of the night to share a few words were Lance Menster, YES Prep Managing Director of Elementary Schools, who spoke about YES Prep’s vision and plan to open elementary schools. Erick Gonzalez, Vice President of the YES Prep Alumni Association and Class of 2010 alumnus, shared about the challenges he faced growing up Hispanic and in an underserved neighborhood, as well as the impact YES had on him, his family and their community. Regan S. Nielsen, Special Advisor to the Board, commented about his involvement with YPP the past four years and how he originally got involved after taking a campus tour. 

Auction and Raffles 

The evening included an art auction with twenty-one art pieces by AP art students from across the district. In total, attendees helped raise $1,985 through the auction with the top selling pieces being three photographs by White Oak teacher Keli Aman and a painting by East End art teacher Michael Healey.   

Attendees also had the opportunity to win a variety of items from the evening’s raffle: two rare bourbons, Top Golf package with golf balls & gloves, two different wine duos from private collections, a wine tasting for ten to sixteen people at Nice Winery, a Netflix & Tiff’s Treats gift card set, a Hugo Ortega restaurant group gift card & two tickets to the Alley Theater, and a Southwest gift card & travel accessories. 

Special guests 

In addition to MensterGonzalez, and Neilsen, guests also included Carole Mariani, President of YPP; Clay Rynd, Vice President of YPP; Lauren Ford and Ginny Castelan, co-chairs of YPP fundraising committee; Kat Turner, chair of YPP campus involvement committee; Beth Hockett, chair of YPP public awareness committee; and Will Mancia, alumni. Among the YES Prep staff in attendance: Greg Little, Sara Kaveeshwar, currently in the Principal Pathway program; Erin Groeteke, Michael Healey, Erik Fowler, Maria Ambia, and Sean Little with YES Prep East End; and the entire Advancement team.  

This year, the Back to College Bash raised over $25,000, an increase of $9,000 from last year. The money raised at the event supports YPP’s priority areas of scholarships, supplies, and student opportunities.  

About YES Prep Professionals 

YES Prep Professionals (YPP) is a group of professionals from a variety of sectors who are committed to advancing and accelerating the strategic priorities of YES Prep Public Schools. YPP supports YES Prep through community awareness and outreach, fundraising, and student mentorship and campus involvement. YPP Volunteer opportunities range from college panels, job fairs, resume editing, tutoring, and mentorship. All funds raised through YPP events are designated towards three main priorities: scholarships, supplies, and student opportunities.  

If you would like to join YPP, click here.

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