Top National Charter School Brings Unique, Proven Program to Detroit


DETROIT — February 10, 2010 — Two nationally recognized charter school organizations announced today that they are opening a new tuition-free secondary school in Detroit that will offer families the most demanding college prep program in the region.

The University Yes Academy (UYA,, which is scheduled to open this fall at 14669 Curtis St., will be a grade 6-12 school based on the enormously successful Yes Prep schools in Houston, Texas. The school’s mission is to increase the number of urban residents who graduate from a four-year college and prepare them to compete in the global marketplace. Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report have ranked Yes Prep among the best public schools in America. Applications from students in the Metro area who will be entering 6th grade next September are currently being accepted.

“University Yes Academy expects to graduate 100% of its students from high school and prepare 100% of its students to be accepted to four-year colleges,” explained Doug Ross, one of the founding partners, and chair of New Urban Learning, which runs the University Prep schools. “Our partnership with Yes Prep is going to give the children who attend this school a world-class education.”

Yes Prep Founder Chris Barbic agreed adding, “We have a proven school design that will prepare the children of Detroit for four-year colleges and demand more hard work from them than other schools. We are eager to be part of the city’s education turnaround.”

For the last nine years, Yes Prep not only has graduated 100% of its urban African-American and Hispanic students, but also saw 100% get accepted to four-year colleges including Harvard, Yale, Duke and Stanford—the highest rate for an urban school in America.

The Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation is providing $5.8 million to purchase and create a state-of-the-art school facility for UYA in northwest Detroit.

“Joan and I believe that the opportunity to get a quality education is critical to earning a real shot at the American Dream here in the 21st century,” stated Wayne Webber, a successful developer who resides in Macomb County.  “We want to see more children in Detroit have that opportunity, which is why we are supporting the creation of University Yes Academy.”

UYA has selected Agnes Aleobua as principal for the school. She is a graduate of Cass Tech and the University of Michigan, and is a veteran of Teach for America, whose mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting the country’s most promising future leaders in the effort.

UYA is currently accepting applications from students in the Metro area who will be entering 6th grade next September. The school, which will have only sixth graders during the 2010-2011 academic term, will add a grade each year until it hosts grades 6-12, a total of 775 students. Admission will be through a blind lottery. Families can obtain applications and more information about the new school by calling 313-832-8404 or by visiting the schools website at