York Prep Students Make a Difference with New York Cares Winter Wishes Program

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New York City York Prep students answer letters to Santa this holiday season as part of their monthly community service initiatives.

York Prep students wrapped gifts for underprivileged inner city youth

York Prep students wrapped gifts for underprivileged inner city youth

“Character is the single most important quality in any young person.” said Ronald Stewart, headmaster at York Prep. Mr. Stewart founded York Prep with his wife Jayme Stewart in 1969 and teaches an ethics course to all senior students.

This holiday season, York Prep’s students are helping the nonprofit organization New York Cares to grant holiday wishes to children and teens in need. The Winter Wishes program is one of many charitable initiatives that the York Prep community supports throughout the year. York Prep’s student government organization chooses a different charity to rally students around every month.

“Character is the single most important quality in any young person,” said Ronald Stewart, headmaster at York Prep. Mr. Stewart founded York Prep with his wife Jayme Stewart in 1969 and teaches an ethics course to all senior students. “Community service is a demonstration of empathy and compassion that we work to keep as an integral part of York Prep’s school culture.”

The Winter Wishes program helps fulfill holiday wishes by collecting letters to Santa from underprivileged youth and giving the letters to sponsors who purchase items on the list. York Prep students are sponsoring 40 children and 10 teens this year by gathering items on holiday wish lists and donating necessary supplies. The students plan to deliver presents to families at a local community center before Christmas. In addition to the supporting Winter Wishes initiative this November and December, York Prep students raised money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation to support breast cancer research this past October.

“It is critically important to us that our students understand they are a part of a global community,” said Brittany McKinney, York Prep’s student government advisor. “At York Prep, we feel strongly that students should be supporting one another as well as the community at large. Winter Wishes gives our students the opportunity to support their peers and family members with meaningful gifts around this special time of year.”

Community service at York Prep is viewed as a valuable opportunity to gain real world work experience, in addition encouraging community-mindedness. In a recent U.S. News and World Report article “Find Career-Focused Volunteer Opportunities in High School,” Jayme Stewart, co-founder and director of college guidance at York Prep, urged students to participate in volunteer work not only to be involved with their community but also leverage these experiences in their college applications. Mrs. Stewart shared that community service can help students create a clear and cohesive picture of who they are want what they want out of life for admissions officers.

Parents interested in learning more about York Prep’s student culture and academic programs are invited to attend the school’s next open house Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. To register, please call (212) 362-0400 or email jcurrent(at)yorkprep(dot)org. Visit http://www.yorkprep.org for more information.

About York Prep
York Prep is a New York City private school on the Upper West Side, which was founded in 1969 by Ronald P. Stewart, a former barrister, and his wife, Jayme Stewart, author of “How to Get into the College of Your Choice: And How to Finance it.” York Prep provides about 350 middle school and high school students, grades six through 12, with a rigorous college prep curriculum that is tailored to meet students’ individual needs and play to their strengths. The school also has a thriving performance and visual arts program, boasts a strong athletic department and offers a wide array of student-driven clubs and extracurricular activities. Thanks to a tried and true college preparation strategy, 100 percent of York’s students pursue higher education.

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Katie LeChase
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