The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

SISTARS: Sisterhood of the Traveling Schools

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Fernanda Delgado (6) and Adriana Martinez (6) wait in line for dinner at the 2015 YWPN Sisterhood Sleepover behind guests from the San Antonio girls school.
Fernanda Delgado (6) and Adriana Martinez (6) wait in line for dinner at the 2015 YWPN Sisterhood Sleepover behind guests from the San Antonio girls school.

Sitting in the dark on the cold gym floor during glow-in-the-dark capture the flag was an explosion of the senses. All I could hear were screams and shrieks over the electronic music blasting from the gym speakers. All I could see were the glow-in-the dark bracelets each girl wore around her arms and neck. All I could smell was the fruity scent of the gummy snacks delegated to each girl. And all I could feel was that I was somehow remorseful that this would all be over tomorrow morning. This would be the last time I would help put on a YWPN Sisterhood Sleepover.

I joined the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN) Club in 10th grade, although back then it was called Foundation for the Education of Young Women (FEYW) Club. I wasn’t really sure what it was but I liked the idea of meeting with girls from our sister schools so I blindly responded to the email asking if anyone was interested. I somehow roped a few of my friends in and now here we are three years later, almost running the whole operation.

Perla Grimaldo-Ramirez (12) deals out the homemade cookies to staff, Raquel Frausto (12), Lupe Samaniego (12), and Marlene Mora (9), after the guests had been served. Each staff member baked a different type of baked good for the event.
Perla Grimaldo-Ramirez (12) deals out the homemade cookies to staff, Raquel Frausto (12), Lupe Samaniego (12), and Marlene Mora (9), after the guests had been served. Each staff member baked a different type of baked good for the event.

Our YWPN Club’s big event every year is hosting the Sisterhood Sleepover in November, where we invite girls from our sister schools to spend the night at ARS. We make T-Shirts, order food, design different activities, plan registration, and delegate clean up, among other things, all in preparation for the event.

Sitting in the gym now, I’m in awe at how quickly all the girls become friends. The other girls haven’t even been here for a couple hours but they’re all already a team, working together and focused on retrieving the other team’s flag.

All the girls gather in the gym to play “The Wind Blows” to get to know each other better. The Wind Blows was one of many ice breakers/name games played at the event.
All the girls gather in the gym to play “The Wind Blows” to get to know each other better. The Wind Blows was one of many ice breakers/name games played at the event.

At bedtime, I watch three sixth graders interact (two from Ann Richards, one from the Irma Rangel school in Dallas) and mostly I’m glad that all our hard work and worry has paid off seeing the girls having fun and forming a new friendship. But seeing these girls be so open-minded and cooperative also makes me feel relieved– relieved that the future of YWPN lies in the hands such capable girls. It may be my time to leave but I can leave happy knowing the club and the sisterhood bonds it creates (as cheesy as they sound), will continue on for years to come, long after I’ve graduated.

Meredith says if you give her a train ticket, a cup of tea, a camera, good literature, a friend, and a sprig of French lavender she'll be happy forever. Meredith is also a varsity swimmer and co-captain on the school’s swim team, a Model UN delegate, a student ambassador for the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), a Girl Scout, and of course, a staff writer here at the Polaris Press.

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