UPLIFT EDUCATION SPONSORED CONTENT — Uplift Education has been around for more than 26 years. They are all about preparing students for college and careers beginning as early as kindergarten.

Uplift Education is committed to changing the lives of teachers, families, and most importantly the students. CW33’s Yolonda Williams caught up with Uplift Education CEO Yasmin Bhatia to learn about the organization’s mission to get students prepared for the future.

What about the mission of Uplift that makes it so special?

At Uplift, we have a dual purpose. First, we want to provide our children with a great education, it allows them to access college and career choices. And secondly, we want to do it in a joyful nurturing environment. Our schools are smaller and really caring. And our kids talk about how they know how much their teachers care about them. And I think that dual combination of focus is what makes our school so special.

What does the growth look like at all of the Uplift Education campuses?

It’s been actually really exciting to be a part of; I’ve been in uplift now for 14 years and watched as we grew from 15 schools to 45 schools across the Dallas Fort Worth area and six cities serving now 23,000 children in pre-K through 12th grade. But I would say what actually excites me more than even our student growth, which is so neat, is our growth in programming. So we’ve meaningfully increased our focus around mental health and social-emotional well-being for our students, which is just so important coming out of the pandemic.

The diversity of Uplift’s campuses is something to behold, it’s amazing that you reach so many different people.

We love that our schools are diverse, we have children from all different backgrounds, whether that’s race and ethnicity, or household income. We have children who might be learning English for the first time or children who qualify for special education services. Oftentimes, our schools do look like the communities that we serve. And our job is to make sure we meet each child where they’re at.

Parent involvement is essential, how do you guys support that?

We welcome parents onto our campuses. So we want parents to volunteer in our libraries and cafeterias. But we also know that some parents don’t have the ability based on their work schedule or younger children to come on to campus. So you can still support your child, whether that’s making sure they are here to school on time, that they do their homework, but you’re just encouraging them along the way. Parents are a critical part of their child’s success.

How important is talking about college at Uplift?

78% of our seniors are the first in their families to go to college. And that’s why we start talking about college when you’re in kindergarten. We also have students who go direct to career and that’s equally a wonderful choice. Before our students leave us we want them to know, you always have a home and connection and uplift. So we have alumni counselors who help work with our alumni. If they’re trying to have a different career placement, or they’re maybe running into some issues that freshman year in college that they need some extra support. Our team is there to help them so that way they successfully not only have completed high school but whatever their post-secondary path is.

Check out Uplift Education on social media to find out more about the organization; also check out uplifteducation.org and click on apply for more info on how to get your students involved.