Success Stories

 

 

Migdalia Blanco

Migdalia Blanco

Migdalia Blanco began attending NYOS in 10th Grade all the way through her high school graduation in 2013. Upon her graduation, Migdalia attended Texas State University and worked in a semiconductor manufacturing lab with Cypress Semiconductor. She also committed her time to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) where she worked to empower young girls to prepare for a career in engineering and technology.
 
Migdalia graduated from college with an Electrical Engineering degree in Micro & Nano Devices with a minor in Applied Mathematics. She now lives in Florida and works as an Engineering Supervisor, working her way up to earn this title in less than two years.
 
While at NYOS, Migdalia shares that she was able to learn both time management and organization as a result of juggling multiple AP courses. She took classes at Austin Community College during her senior year at NYOS, which allowed her to begin Texas State with earned college credits. Migdalia explains, “I am grateful that I attained pre-college credits to core classes because it saved me time and money in the long run.”
 
 
Alorah Beers
Alorah Beers
Class of 2021 graduate Alorah Beers began attending NYOS as a first grader. As a recent graduate, they were recently accepted into Portland State University, Texas State University, University of North Texas, St. Edward's University, and Austin Community College. Alorah is now headed to ACC where they will study psychology with the hopes of pursuing a career related to social work or supporting individuals through resources that include behavioral analysis.
 
Alorah’s education at NYOS has allowed them to now head into a post-graduate education fully prepared for the challenges of collegiate academics. They explain, “The classes at NYOS are so challenging that college classes almost feel easier. Shout out to all the staff at NYOS who taught me... I’ve learned so much and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
 
Alorah adds that NYOS Charter School’s small classroom environment and passionate group of teachers led to a meaningful education experience. “If you want to change the world, become an educator. There’s nothing more impactful on a student’s life than a powerful, encouraging, and empathetic teacher or educator. I love NYOS and everyone there so much. This small community is a big part of who I am."
 
 
Mackenzie Carmody
Mackenzie Carmody
Mackenzie Carmody attended NYOS Charter School from 5th grade all the way through her high school graduation in 2016. Since graduating from NYOS, Mackenzie went on to earn a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from Texas Tech University. She currently works at Centex Machining as a quality inspector. 
 
Mackenzie shares that the most valuable lesson she learned while at NYOS was that with perseverance and determination, you can accomplish anything. She adds that NYOS teachers “expected great things from students – making us go above and beyond the work that public school students were completing. That helped me excel in the core classes I took at Texas Tech as I held myself and my work to higher standards.”
 
NYOS Charter School’s core values also stuck with Mackenzie beyond high school graduation. In particular, she found meaning in the core value of “commitment to service and integrity in all actions.” Mackenzie explains, “When I went to Texas Tech, I chose to join a sorority in order to continue to serve the community. My sorority, Kappa Delta, hosted events to raise money for Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) and also worked with Girl Scouts of America. It is important to give back to the community. Integrity in all actions is a very important core value to uphold because showing others that you have integrity makes you more reliable and trustworthy as a person, thus making your relationships with others, whether they be personal or professional, stronger and more meaningful.”
 
 
Elliott Claborn
Elliott Claborn
Elliott Claborn attended NYOS Charter School from Kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. Upon graduating from NYOS in 2017, he attended The University of Texas at Austin and is now graduating with a BS in Radio-Television-Film.
 
Elliott was able to initially develop a good base for film education and discovered a love of filmmaking through film classes and opportunities at NYOS, including practicing skills with projects that he created for NYOS programs like TAFE. “Every time I got behind a camera or a computer to shoot or edit, it was like I had electricity running through me. I still bring that same joy and sense of wonder to everything I create because of the way I was trained to just love the act of filmmaking during my secondary education at NYOS.”
 
Elliott adds that NYOS Charter School’s core values, like having perseverance in achieving goals, were able to carry into his post-graduate education. “The most valuable lesson I learned at NYOS is to not get down on yourself or give up when things don’t go the way you planned. Life is imperfect and sometimes things look bleak, but you just have to keep going and work the problem.”
 
 
Charlotte Clymer
Charlotte Clymer
After graduating from NYOS in 2005, Charlotte served in the military for six years and then went on to graduate from Georgetown University. She is now a nationally-recognized writer and LGBTQ activist, reaching millions every month with her writing and commentary. Most recently, she was the Director of Communications at Catholics for Choice and prior to that, the Press Secretary for Rapid Response at the Human Rights Campaign. In 2020, was named to Fortune Magazine’s annual “40 Under 40” list for her political advocacy.
 
Her political and social commentary has been quoted by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and numerous other national and international outlets. Her work has been published in USA Today, The Washington Post, NBC News, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, GQ, The Independent, and other publications. She has also been a guest commentator on MSNBC and CBS Sunday Morning.
 
She serves on the D.C. Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities, the Board of Directors for the Center for Law and Military Policy, the Military and Veterans Advisory Council for Modern Military Families of America and the Advisory Councils for Running Start and the Lone Star Parity Project, organizations working toward gender parity in elected office. She is a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Class of 2019.

While at NYOS, Charlotte was given the autonomy to develop leadership skills in an effort to improve her school community. Without her years at NYOS Charter School, Charlotte would not have received the educational experience that helped her develop into the goal-driven trailblazer that she is today. Charlotte shares, “NYOS motivated me to ask what I want out of life. It made me focus on the change I wanted to see in the world.”

 

 
Eric Elliott
Eric Elliott
Eric Elliott attended NYOS from 7th grade through his high school graduation in 2004. After graduating from NYOS, Eric went out to complete his undergraduate education at Texas A&M University and received a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan.
 
Since earning his MPH, Eric has gone on to make a significant impact in the field of healthcare. He developed quality improvement metrics and measurement methodology for a Medicaid reform program, supported DSRIP analytics with Seton, launched a quality improvement program and managed healthcare in Sierra Leone, focused on health systems rebuilding and survivor care following the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and worked as a Project Manager for healthcare initiatives supporting the Travis County indigent population enrolled in MAP coverage programs.
 
Reflecting on his time at NYOS, Eric shares, “I had incredible teachers who helped instill in me a sense of curiosity and a tenacity to seek answers. During both my undergrad and graduate programs, I used these skills to identify areas that furthered my understanding of coursework and to find new interests in unrelated fields.”
 
 
Sky Bass
Sky Bass
NYOS Charter School Class of 2020 alumna, Sky Bass, joined NYOS as a high school student. She shares that, initially, the biggest challenge I faced at NYOS “was coming from a public school to a charter school, and the schools were different. The teachers were very different too and it took me a while to adjust.”
 
Once she became acclimated to life at NYOS, Sky learned a valuable lesson at NYOS to “never stop giving up even if something is hard. NYOS helped prepared me for a post-secondary education by helping me with the process of getting there and helping me to figure out what I wanted to do as a major.” Sky is now headed to ACC to take her basic courses as an accounting major before planning to transfer to St. Edward’s University.
 
 

Michael Bell

During his time at NYOS Charter School, Michael took advantage of video tech classes and as a result, he discovered a passion for filmmaking. Michael now works full time with a church ministry and owns a video production company, both of which have given him opportunities to travel the world.

Michael also has fond memories of the strong community he became connected with at NYOS. He explains, “I have never regretted the eight years that I spent at NYOS. My two older sisters graduated in 2006 and my younger brother graduated in 2012. Each of us consider our time at NYOS to have been positive and rewarding [and] we are still connected with friends from those years spent together.”
 

 

Chelsea Elliott

Executive Director of the half Helen Foundation, Chelsea Elliott, graduated from NYOS Charter School in 2009. After going through a personal experience with vision and hearing loss, Chelsea has gone on to found the half Helen Foundation with a mission to improve school-age children’s vision and hearing through innovative, cost-effective screening and dedicated advocacy.

Chelsea's ingenuity, determination, and dedication to found her own nonprofit began with skills learned at NYOS. "My teachers at NYOS instilled a sense of resourcefulness and problem-solving. Students owned the responsibility for their education."
 
 
Photo of Miranda Ferris
Miranda Ferris
Miranda Ferris attended NYOS Charter School from 2010 until her high school graduation in 2014. Since graduating from NYOS, she has completed a BS in Public Relations & Mass Communication with a minor in Political Communication from Texas State University and an MA in Strategic Communication & Digital Media Strategy from Michigan State University. Miranda currently serves as the Marketing Manager for a medical communications agency and she actively participates in the Detroit Chapter of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America), along with spending free time doing contract marketing work.
 
Miranda shares that during her time at NYOS, she was able to learn the importance of building relationships and networking. While at Texas State, she built on existing relationships with fellow NYOS Jags turned Bobcats, and now that she is a Michigan resident, she has even been able to connect with some of her former NYOS teachers who also now live in Michigan.
 
Miranda adds, “NYOS is a small but mighty community, and the teachers are truly top-notch. As a college student, I was continually shocked by the fact that other students didn't have an understanding of what I considered basic topics (such as how to write a thesis statement). Because of the small class structure and connections built with the teachers, [NYOS students are able to] soar upon reaching post-secondary education.”

 

 

Leroy Grant

Leroy Grant

Leroy Grant attended NYOS Charter School from 2004 until 2008. After his graduation from NYOS in 2008, Leroy joined the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in which he specialized as a Laboratory Technician for 5 years, including being stationed at a hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.
 
After his time in the Navy, Leroy continued to work in healthcare, focusing much of his time with Clinical Pathology Laboratories. Recently, Leroy began transitioning to a different career path and graduated from a coding boot camp with Codeup in September 2020. He is now working with both Codeup and as an Apprentice Technology Specialist with Accenture.
 
During his time at NYOS, Leroy learned the valuable lesson of reaching out to teachers and mentors, and asking questions no matter what position they held. Through this lesson, Leroy explains, “I learned not to fear reaching out to your superiors, which served me pretty well in the military. I met a lot of good mentors and learned really useful things because I wasn't afraid to reach out to them.”
 
 
Taryn Harvey
Taryn Harvey
A NYOS Charter School Class of 2020 Graduate, alumna Taryn Harvey shares that her time at NYOS taught her the importance of “being open-minded, flexible, and learning that change is a good thing.”
 
Taryn is now headed to Texas Woman’s University where she will major in Biology with plans to become an OB/GYN. Taryn recognizes that she has many years of post-secondary school ahead of her, but at the same time, she acknowledges, “Teachers at NYOS have taught me what to expect once leaving high school, what college will be like, and what the world will be like.”
 
 
Kaylah Jacobs
Kaylah Jacobs
A recent NYOS Charter School Class of 2020 graduate, alumna Kaylah Jacobs had the opportunity to participate in a diverse range of extracurriculars while at NYOS, including PALs, NHS, TAFE, and even the annual Black History Month Celebration. She shares that her time at NYOS allowed her to “learn how to branch out and do different things. You’ll never know where those different things may lead you!”
 
Kaylah adds that, “NYOS helped me step out of my comfort zone. With that help, I can be more comfortable doing things for my post-secondary education!” Kaylah is now headed to college where she plans to major in nursing.
 
 

Jaden Kelly; alumni student who works in environmental science in a marsh holding a fishing net

Jaden Kelly

NYOS Class of 2015 graduate, Jaden Kelly, went on to receive a degree in Environmental Science focusing on Natural Resource Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. During his time at UTSA, Jaden was the president of the Green Society and was a student representative of the UTSA Sustainability Council. He even helped to establish the UTSA Sustainability Fund, which allocates $300,000 a year towards UTSA sustainability projects.
 
After graduating from UTSA, Jaden worked with the American Conservation Corps program focusing on environmental restoration along the Texas coastline and he currently works with the US Fish and Wildlife Biology Department at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
 
Jaden explains that NYOS showed him “people typically want you to succeed and will make an effort to help. You should not fear sharing your thoughts and ideas with someone considered your superior.” And although his focus is now in science, Jaden adds, “Throughout my post-secondary education, I often told myself and others how grateful I was for the NYOS High School English Department. I was surprised that even when studying Natural Sciences, my English preparedness constantly put me ahead of my peers. Being able to coherently share your thoughts in an organized manner will get you far.”
 
 
Maureen Mason
Maureen Mason
Maureen attended NYOS from 3rd grade until her high school graduation in 2017. She went on to graduate from Texas Woman's University with a Bachelors of Science and Communication Sciences and Disorders with an emphasis on Speech-Language Pathology. While at TWU, Maureen was President of the “Pathway to Accessibility” organization, which ensures that students with disabilities have a platform for their voices to be heard while partnering with TWU stakeholders to enrich disability awareness and accessibility in all aspects of the university. She was also a member of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. 
 
Maureen shares that the most valuable lesson she learned while at NYOS was to become her own advocate. This allowed her to understand the importance of going to tutoring and office hours, effectively working as part of a team, and having the determination to meet her goals. Maureen adds, “NYOS influenced where I got my education because of the small community atmosphere and the small class sizes.” Thanks to NYOS, she says, “my future plans are to get my master’s degree in speech pathology and to obtain my doctoral degree in disability studies.”
 

 

Miranda McCameron
Before attending NYOS Charter School, Miranda was a middle school student struggling at an AISD school. Parent Tracy McCameron recalls, “I remember how much Miranda struggled in writing an essay or doing a math problem. It took a day for her to complete just one paragraph.”
 
Once Miranda began attending NYOS, Tracy saw a significant change in her daughter’s schoolwork. “She immediately began to flourish. Miranda’s teachers understood her academic struggles and were able to provide her with a variety of helpful strategies. Because of the amazing mentors that NYOS provided her with, Miranda is now pursuing a college degree to become an Elementary Teacher.”
 
 
Jessica Mendez
After graduating from NYOS, Jessica attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Bachelors in Advertising focused in Creative Strategy, Branding and Art Direction with a minor in Business. Jessica was recently awarded a Multicultural Advertising fellowship and is working as an Art Director in Los Angeles with a career goal to become a Creative Director.

Jessica’s hard work, ambition, and creative interests were a direct result of her education at NYOS. Jessica shares, “One of the most valuable lessons I learned was perseverance and curiosity for my own learning. NYOS allowed me to take an active role in my own learning and encouraged me to be curious, question the world, and never settle for the bare minimum.”
 
 
Miki Nguyen
Miki Nguyen
Miki Nguyen attended NYOS from 4th grade through her graduation in 2018. Miki is now attending St. Edward’s University where is working towards a Bachelors in Forensic Science. Once obtaining this degree, Miki’s goal is to attend graduate school and ultimately become a Death Investigator.
 
When reflecting on NYOS Charter School’s core values, Miki explains, “I genuinely feel that NYOS has integrated the entirety of its core values into my being. I continue to uphold those values in my daily life, in all aspects. I am incredibly grateful that I was able to be a part of a community that taught me such valuable lessons in the most meaningful ways.”
 
She adds, “Thanks to the skills I gained at NYOS, I felt ready to face what the future holds for me! The teachers at NYOS do not just teach content and move on; they truly care for students and teach valuable skills that help prepare students for life outside of NYOS. When I started my academic career, I had my eyes on nothing but my grades. My greatest lesson from NYOS is learning that there is so much more to life! There are many experiences that become precious from working with others, from connecting with teachers and staff members, and from taking the initiative to explore the world around me.”
 
 

Toyosi Oyelola

After graduating from NYOS Charter School in 2016, Toyosi began college at New York University and began cultivating skills to achieve goals in consulting, marketing, and social media strategy. She is now employed at CO OP Brand Co, a full-service creative company located in Manhattan, New York.

Toyosi’s singularity, tenacity, and determination were skills that stemmed and bloomed from her experience at NYOS. While at NYU, she discovered that, “A community like NYOS is a great thing to have, and while it’s not easy to find, it’s always worth pursuing.” Moving from a tight-knit community to a big city, Toyosi states, “I don’t think that I would have been willing to make such a big leap if I didn’t have a strong support system behind me.” 
 
 
Photo of Sruti Ramachandran
Sruti Ramachandran
Sruti Ramachandran attended NYOS from PreK all the way through her high school graduation in 2020. While at NYOS, Sruti was involved in numerous extracurriculars, including TAFE and Youth & Government. Through these experiences, which provided opportunities for mock trials and public speaking, Sruti was exposed to different career paths, which helped to influence her in pursuing a post-secondary career as a lawyer. She is currently attending the University of Texas at Austin and is majoring in Communication & Leadership.
 
Sruti explains that the opportunity to develop and practice varied skills at NYOS results in creating confident and empowered students. “The important things I learned from NYOS were more than just the academics. My experience at NYOS with the teachers, extracurriculars, and leadership opportunities I was granted taught me important skills regarding teamwork, time management, and making me into a more holistic student.”
 
Sruti adds, “My time at NYOS prepared me for post-secondary education by giving me experience with being an active student rather than a passive one. Coming from such a small environment where I was encouraged to ask questions, visit teachers during office hours, and really make personable connections, I realized that even though class sizes had been scaled up from 18 to 180 students per class, my interpersonal skills had also translated. I am less afraid to reach out and ask questions, because I know how much of a difference it will make in my learning.”
 
 
Anthony Sone
Anthony Sone
Anthony Sone attended NYOS from 4th grade through his high school graduation in 2020. During his time at NYOS, he was involved in a number of extracurriculars, including PALs, Youth & Government, ASL Club, Yearbook, NHS, and Cross Country. While assisting Secondary teacher Ms. Lee with tutoring one day, he discussed his interest in pursuing a career where he could take care of patients and interact with them. It was through this conversation with Ms. Lee that his eyes were opened to a post-graduate career in nursing.
 
Since graduating from NYOS, Anthony has successfully juggled both work and volunteer opportunities at Walmart, HEB, and Hospice, and has also started introductory studies at Austin Community College.
 
Reflecting on his time at NYOS, Anthony shares, “NYOS prepared me for the courses at ACC. Taking AP classes helped me a lot in being the only one in my college classes who knew so much about subjects like Statistics and English composition. I wouldn't have been as successful without taking challenging classes at NYOS. I was amazed that not many people took these courses in high school, and I had the upper hand in knowing all of the materials being re-taught to me. NYOS had outstanding educators who organized lesson plans and put lots of effort into teaching students, which I never realized until I entered college.”
 
 

Claire Taylor

Published fiction writer and Texas State University alumnus Claire Taylor graduated from NYOS Charter School in 2006. During her time at NYOS, Claire recalls becoming an active participant in her own life while being given the space not just to learn academic excellence, but to also practice independence.

"The autonomy NYOS provided, allowed me to invest in myself and my education, not to simply sit around, hoping to passively absorb the information I needed to move on to the next grade,” says Claire. “NYOS also helped foster my joy of intellectual exploration, which I use every day in my writing."