About The Young Women's Leadership Academy
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy, San Antonio’s first all-girls public school, opened in August 2008 as a tuition-free, college-preparatory school that focuses on math, science and technology – fields in which women are typically underrepresented. Over the last ten years, YWLA has cemented its status as a rigorous, yet supportive school that empowers young women to uncover the leaders within them.
At YWLA, students receive a quality education shaped by the core values of college preparation, responsible leadership, and wellness life skills, values that contribute to the type of well-rounded education that is vital to our students’ success in college.
Consistently rated Exemplary by the state since its inception, YWLA is a collaborative effort between SAISD and the Young Women's Preparatory Network.
All YWLA students are expected to attend and graduate from a four-year college or university. College prep is ensured through a rigorous curriculum and a strong academic support system. College and career counseling is an integral part of the school’s program.
Our young women are taught responsible leadership through active participation in extra-curricular activities and service-learning opportunities. The girls are encouraged to not only participate, but to create their own clubs and service-learning opportunities. Leadership is infused in the classroom and developed through summer enrichment programs, such as creative writing, crime scene investigation, NASA camps, and law camps.
The academic and leadership pillars are rounded out with a commitment to wellness life skills. Physical well-being and overall wellness are imperative to the success of our students. Through traditional physical education, athletic involvement, as well as participation in programs with partnering community organizations, YWLA students are taught to make decisions based on core values and personal health.
The campus site was originally the Horace Mann Junior High School that opened on February 1, 1937, and was named after the New England educator, Horace Mann. In the mid-1970s, Mann became a middle school. During the 2004-05 school year, Mann obtained internal charter school status and became an academy with an emphasis on the fine arts. The program was also designed to complement that of its neighboring high school, Jefferson HS, which hosts SAISD’s Fine Arts Magnet Program. Mann closed in 2008 due to declining enrollment and was converted thereafter.