The Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TYWLS) in New York City were originally created as a network that worked to implement in students the skills they needed to succeed in life. The first TYWLS School opened in 1996 and today there are five different TYWLS schools in New York. The Network Schools are located in East Harlem, Queens, Astoria, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
In 2001, Oprah Winfrey was the graduation speaker for the TYWLS of East Harlem’s first class of seniors to graduate. Winfrey had a notable quote at the ceremony, “When I heard your stories, I saw my life in your lives… Girls, you have proven that this is what public education can be.”
TYWLS is a privately funded school system for girls in the sixth through twelfth grade. 80% of the girls who attend TYWLS will be the first in their family to go to college. Since 2001, TYWLS has helped 6,500 girls enroll in college! The majority of the girls come from low-income families who have had to persevere through multiple obstacles, but education will not be one of them.
On October 15th, 2014 the TYWLS had their (Em)Power Breakfast, which consisted of 600 guests and the 2,200 girls who attend the TYWLS schools in New York City. The breakfast was a celebration of these young women’s efforts as students, citizens and role models in their community. There were four honorees also present at the brunch that have all made a name for themselves in the working world. The honorees consisted of, Andrew Farkas, Anna Quindlen, Idina Menzel and Dina Powell.
The breakfast was filled with motivational speeches, personal stories, and inspirational quotes from the honorees. All of the honorees continue to make their mark in the working world and have gotten there in their own unique ways.
TYWLS continues to make a mark on New York City and on young girl’s throughout the city who strive to educate themselves and in turn educate the world.