All-girls school with strong college support
Friction between teachers and the administration
The Young Women's Leadership School in Astoria is a safe school where an ethnically diverse group of girls come together to develop the academic skills and confidence necessary for college. The school boasts excellent attendance rates and students do well in all subject areas. Most graduate on time, ready to do college-level work.
The girls wear neat navy uniforms and a sweater with the school crest. Students speak more than 60 home languages, and their families come from Tibet, Morocco, Russia, Afghanistan, and a number of Latin American nations. Many students are the first in their families to attend college.
Modeled on the original school of the same name in East Harlem, The Young Women’s Leadership School (TYWLS) in Astoria is one of five all-female schools in TYWLS network.
The school requires students to perform 50 hours of community service. Small advisory groups focused on female adolescent development and positive self-image. Teachers assign projects that give girls an opportunity to work together.
Principal Allison Persad took the helm in 2015. The child of immigrants, she grew up in Queens Village attending Hillcrest High School, and later Queens College and St. John’s University for her doctorate. She worked as an English teacher for 10 years before moving into administration according to an interview in DNAinfo. Under her leadership the school has added a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) lab, where the girls study coding and how to create computer applications.
School surveys show there is friction between Persad and her teachers, however. Fewer than one-fifth of the teachers report she is an effective manager who makes the school run smoothly. Trust between teachers and the administration is also poor.
Fortunately, the school is well above average in almost every other area, from academic achievement to safety, order and discipline. Parents report they feel welcome. The Quality Review states the school sets high expectations for students. The school has a full-time college counselor and children begin thinking about and visiting colleges as early as 6th grade.
The school is housed in a former Roman Catholic school with wood floors, and cubbies and hooks for coats. Classrooms are spacious. An old-fashioned combination gym and auditorium (called a "gymatorium") is located across the street.
Sports include archery, basketball, rugby, soccer and track and field. The school is partnered with PowerPlay, an all-female sports organization with all-female coaches.
The Young Women's Leadership Foundation helps support many activities, including dance, digital photography and other arts. Nearly all girls participate.
ADMISSIONS: Priority to Queens residents or students. The school considers grades, attendance and test scores, and requires a group interview and writing exercise on-site. About two-thirds of the 8th graders continue on to the high school. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data and web reports, September 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
MusicNot offered in 2019-20
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
The Young Women's Leadership School, Astoria
Our school includes advisory, rigorous STEM, AP offerings, humanities, and arts (drama, theater, technology, digital media, film, robotics, and computer programming). We also provide afterschool enrichment including sports, tutoring, and dance. The College Bound Initiative (CBI) provides a full-time CBI college counselor who guides each student through the college application process through visits and trips.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Calculus AB, AP Psychology, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition, AP World History: Modern, AP Human Geography, AP Environmental Science, AP English Literature and Composition
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Bowling, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Volleyball
Contact & Location
23-15 Newtown Avenue
Astoria NY 11102
Trains: , to 30th Ave
Buses: M60-SBS, Q100, Q102, Q103, Q18, Q19, Q69
This school is in its own building.