Quarterly Newsletter April 2017
Happy National Volunteer Week!
Happy National Volunteer Week! YPIE  could not do this important work without our incredible team of almost 200 volunteers! Thank you for all that you do.  If you would like to get involved with YPIE and make a difference in the life of a student, please visit  ypie.org/volunteer .

The  YPIE's Shining Stars section of our newsletter is a place we highlight our outstanding volunteers and the students they work with.  Please enjoy this series of amazing "mission moments!"
A Four Year Journey for Volunteer  Laurie & YPIE Scholar Yoel...
Watch the full interview with Laurie!
Four years ago, YPIE had a vision of pairing volunteer mentors with high school students in the Yonkers Public School district to help them stay on track for college.  We paired 65 mentors with 110 students, and this June our first class of YPIE Scholars will be graduating from high school.

As the first class of YPIE Scholars prepares to graduate high school and go off to college, we look back at both our triumphs and challenges.  At YPIE, we pride ourselves on being a reflective organization, continuously reviewing and revising the structure of our programs to best meet the needs of our students.  One of the biggest lessons we've taken away from our inaugural class of YPIE Scholars is that while providing a mentor is key to a child's growth - our students benefit from additional supports as well.  That's why subsequent groups of YPIE Scholars are receiving after school academic instruction and training in 21st century skills at the YPIE College Zone. We are extremely grateful to the first graduating class of YPIE Scholars, their volunteer Graduation Coaches, and staff program manager, Julie Arias, for paving the way for future students' college success.

We sat down with Laurie Brecher, one of our original Graduation Coaches and our newest YPIE Shining Star to get her perspective on participating in the program.  She has been a dedicated volunteer and mentor to YPIE Scholar, Yoel, at Lincoln High School over the past four years.  "It's just been wonderful to watch my student begin to take charge of [the college] process and see me recede over time and I think that's the goal that we want for all of our students," says Laurie.

Introducing YPIE Students to Selective Colleges
Reflecting on a recent visit to Franklin & Marshall College, a YPIE Fellow remarked: "Because of this trip, I am now seriously thinking of going to a liberal arts college." Another exclaimed: "I really enjoyed this experience because it opened up a new door for me, the door to my future!"
When YPIE began its work 10 years ago, the college lists for Yonkers highest achieving students were remarkably similar: a handful of city and state schools, Harvard and Columbia - because they heard those schools were good. But nothing in between. It wasn't surprising. Research indicated that the vast majority of high-achieving, low-income students were not applying to any selective college or university, despite the fact that selective institutions would often: 1) cost them less, owing to generous financial aid; and 2) result in higher college graduation rates.

SAT Prep Programs  Attract  Almost 200 Students!
Awesome Attendance at YPIE SAT Prep Programs

Wow! We have a total of  190 students  attending our SAT Prep programs . What's more, students in our Princeton Review program recently took a 4 hour practice exam... on a Saturday morning! Now that's dedication. 

With ongoing support from YPIE SAT Prep guru, Jeff Gittleman and a partnership with The Princeton Review, YPIE offers these programs to our students for free. Many Yonkers families would not otherwise be able to afford to send their children to SAT prep classes. By increasing their scores, our students dramatically increase their chances of getting into a great college that best fits their needs. Let's keep that amazing attendance rate (and those SAT scores) up!
YPIE Scholars Explore Careers at Ridge Hill
YPIE Scholars go behind the scenes to explore careers at Ridge Hill Shopping Center.
YPIE is proud to host another 7 week semester of Ridge Hill Academy, thanks to a grant from Westchester's Ridge Hill developer, Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC). These funds support YPIE's career experience programs for our YPIE Scholars in 9th and 10th grade. Teens explore management careers in the retail industry through an exciting line up of workshops and interactive experiences hosted by vendors such as The Container Store, iFLY Westchester Indoor Skidiving, and Legoland.

"All of the workshops have truly changed my whole perspective on the education and careers available to me," says Sofia, a past Ridge Hill Academy graduate who currently attends Lincoln High School. "I had never before anticipated how many job opportunities there are in the field of marketing and how diverse each of the stores truly are from each other." 

YPIE is grateful for the ongoing support of Forest City Ratner to fund this incredible learning experience and to all of the Ridge Hill Shopping Center vendors for welcoming our YPIE Scholars!
Shake Shack Partnership Continues
YPIE Scholars learn the ropes
of running a business.
YPIE is proud to partner with Shake Shack (of the Cross County Shopping Center)

Partnerships increase YPIE's ability to expose our YPIE Scholars to opportunities outside of academics and mentoring. One such partnership allowed us to take 20 Scholars to the Shake  Shack at the Cross County Shopping Center. On February 21st, before the restaurant opened to regular customers, YPIE Scholars worked with Shake  Shack staff to learn about the daily running of the restaurant. They learned how to read orders, how the food is prepared at the various prep stations, quality control and getting the food out to customers. Most importantly, Scholars saw what communication looks like, how businesses treat customers, and the types of decision business owners encounter every day. Students were able to participate in all aspects of these processes which culminated in students cooking and eating a full meal. The Shake  Shack staff were so welcoming, accommodating, and patient with our Scholars; we look forward to collaborating with them in the future.
March Match Results

We are so grateful to all of you who donated during our March Match Challenge. Thanks to your generous support, we were able to reach our goal of $100,000!

Thank you!
Please Vote!

YPIE has submitted a video for the A Community Thrives (ACT) grant under the category of Education. If we get enough votes, YPIE could receive up to $100,000! We need your help! Please VOTE HERE and spread the word. The public voting period ends on May 15th!
Senior Scholars Celebration

We will be honoring our first graduating class of YPIE Scholars at a Senior Scholars Celebration on June 15th! We are so proud of our 2017 Scholars for their hard work and progress over the past four years. Stay tuned for photos and more from the event.
Save the Date!

YPIE is turning 10! On Thursday, September 14th, 2017, YPIE will celebrate this special birthday at our annual Gala. This year we are proud to honor David Westin, the Chair of YPIE's Board of Directors and founding board member. 
Stay tuned for more details!
Program Calendar

Check out our Program Calendar to stay up to date on all of YPIE's upcoming programs and events.
Thank You For Your Ongoing Support
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Learn more and  get involved by visiting us  at  ypie.org  or on social media. 
Yonkers Partners in Education | t 914.377.4882 | f 914.377.4885  | info@ypie.org | ypie.org