Founded in San Antonio in 1995, and modeled after the Midtown Educational Foundation of Chicago, YAF expanded to Garland in 2000 and Irving in 2003. We are currently helping approximately 120 students per week in the Garland, Texas ISD.

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Youth Achievement Foundation (YAF)

Garland, TX

Youth Achievement Foundation

The Youth Achievement Foundation (YAF) is dedicated to assisting disadvantaged youth by organizing and sponsoring supplementary educational programs that enable them to develop into college-educated, upright leaders who serve family and community. We differ from other "tutoring" programs because we seek to develop the whole person by stressing character formation as well as academic achievement. Our program is designed to help students become good citizens by giving them the tools they need to succeed.

Our Organization and Structure

The Youth Achievement Foundation, Inc. is headquartered in Dallas and operates programs in conjunction with the Garland Independent School District. Teaming with the public school districts allows us to reduce overhead and serve more kids. The schools provide the space, the students, and a faculty member (Teacher Facilitator) for each session, saving us rent, utilities and insurance. We provide the mentors, study materials and sometimes snacks. We typically split the cost of the teacher facilitator's salary and field trips with the school. Our field trips focus on exposing our students to higher education and career options.

Why We Mentor

We believe that one of the most sacred responsibilities of any generation is to prepare the next one. We want our students to learn about life and to become solid citizens who form strong families, pay taxes and become leaders in their communities. We believe our students want to be challenged to explore everything that gives life value (parenthood, careers and service). We want them to know that responsibility and freedom go hand in hand and that the only way to become happy is to make others happy.

Our Recent Successes (2013-2014)

This year 100% of our high school seniors graduated on-time and the upcoming classes are all on track to follow. Our middle school students again outperformed their peers in state testing with 93.3% passing STAAR math (vs. 79% for the state) and 88.1% passing reading (vs. 83% for the state). We are very proud of the teachers, mentors and, of course, our students for this great success.

Our Past Successes (2012-2013)

89% of our Boys at Williams passed STAAR vs. 72% for the State.

79% of our Middle School Boys passed STAAR Math vs. 74% for the State.

88% of our Middle School Girls passed STAAR Math vs. 74% for the State.

79% of our Middle School Boys passed STAAR Reading vs. 77% for the State.

81% of our Middle School Girls passed STAAR Reading vs. 77% for the State.

95% of our Students at Williams Elementary were promoted.

97% of our Students at Sellers Middle School were promoted.

100% of our Students at Sam Houston were promoted.

100% of our Garland High Students Graduated.

All of our students are considered to be “at-risk” by Federal Guidelines and most have multiple risk factors.

* STAAR = State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness and is a statewide achievement test.

Our Past Successes (2010-2011)

89% of our students passed overall TAKS* with 89% and 92% passing the critical Math and Reading, respectively.

* TAKS stands for Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. It is required for all public school students in the State.

95% of our students were promoted to the next grade and we expect to be near 100% after summer school.

100% of our fifth graders at Williams passed all three parts of the TAKS and were promoted. Virtually all of these students were in their second year of mentoring.

100% of our 8th Grade Boys passed Math (compared with 87% for the District)

92% of our 6th Graders at Sellers Passed Reading (compared to 84% for the District)

All of our students are considered to be “at-risk” by Federal Guidelines and most have multiple risk factors.


Our Goals

The long-term goals of the Youth Achievement Foundation are: (1) Provide a dedicated mentor for every qualified child in the schools we serve (2) Whenever possible continue supporting those students through high-school graduation (3) Assist the parents through enhanced personal contact and by offering informational classes

We plan to achieve these goals by implementing a systematic growth program that allows us to grow vertically and horizontally. Using our existing base, we will achieve vertical growth by following our current students as they progress through the educational system, which means adding new middle and high schools. Horizontal growth will be accomplished by adding more elementary schools. Each new program requires approximately 12 mentors and a teacher facilitator.


How We Measure Success

Because we are seeking to develop the whole person we measure success using both quantitative and qualitative means. Quantitatively, each program is assigned a Teacher Facilitator from the school who supplies us with grade and testing information (while respecting the applicable privacy rules).

Progress is reviewed every six weeks at which time academic goals are reevaluated. This allows us to monitor the progress of both individual students and our group as a whole. Qualitatively, we urge mentors to speak with both parents and teachers in order to monitor overall behavior and attitude.

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