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News | May 26, 2022

Empowering Young Women: Sands Helps Bring New Charter School to Las Vegas for Middle and High School Girls

Empowering Young Women: Sands Helps Bring New Charter School to Las Vegas for Middle and High School Girls

This fall, Las Vegas families will have a new educational choice to help empower young women in achieving academic success through science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education, when the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) kicks off its inaugural school year. The tuition-free public charter school for grades 6 through 12 is open to all Las Vegas students, with an emphasis on educating young women. 

Located in east Las Vegas, YWLA aims to improve access to high-quality, college-centric education for underserved youth. Signifying the need and demand for YWLA’s unique model, the school has reached capacity enrollment of 151 scholars for the inaugural 2022-2023 school year.

Sands played a pivotal role in bringing YWLA to Las Vegas, with company leadership identifying a need and opportunity for the school, as well as financial contributions that will enable technology access for all scholars, facility development, furniture purchases and other school equipment. As the charter school gets underway, Sands has plans to offer special programs, such as internships and job shadowing, for YWLA scholars. Sands CEO Rob Goldstein and EVP and global general counsel, Zac Hudson, are serving on the YWLA’s governing board to help guide and shape the school’s development and critical growth years.

 “Sands saw the value that our model can deliver and the impact our forward-looking curriculum can make to empower young women and has worked side-by-side with us to bring this unique educational opportunity to Las Vegas,” said YWLA principal Whitney McIntosh. “From senior executive involvement at the highest levels to generous funding and helping us navigate our state charter approval, Sands has been an amazing partner every step of the way.”

YWLA is an affiliate school of the Student Leadership Network, an affiliation of high-achieving schools that offers more than 25 years of expertise in driving access to educational opportunities and successfully pathing young people in diverse and underserved communities to higher education. As part of this prestigious network, YWLA will provide rigorous, college-preparatory academics fused with nationally recognized best practices in education and social-emotional support that empower young women to position scholars to lead in school and beyond. 

“YWLA can play a unique educational role in Las Vegas by filling a void in high-caliber educational curriculum for young women from underserved communities,” said Sands CEO Rob Goldstein. “The opportunity it brings to inspire achievement and opportunity is not only powerful for YWLA scholars and their families – it’s transformational for our community.”

Sands’ support for the Young Women Leadership Academy complements the company’s broad spectrum of programs to support education, a core priority of Sands Cares, the company’s global community engagement program. Sands Cares initiatives span funding and scholarships, volunteer and consulting support, and programmatic investments for mentorship and youth development organizations, schools, higher education institutions and educational nonprofit and advocacy organizations as part of the company’s commitment to building the workforce of the future and removing barriers for underrepresented communities. Other local educational and youth development partners have included Communities in Schools, Nevada Succeeds, 100 Black Men Las Vegas, Mastering Mindsets, Green Our Planet and National Hispanic Institute.

YWLA is now enrolling students for grades 6 and 9 for the 2022-2023 school year and will expand by two additional grades every year until full buildout of a 6 through 12 grade program. To learn more or apply to become a YWLA scholar, please visit