Mark Cuban’s vow to help female leadership brings $100,000 to Fort Worth school

AP file

Mark Cuban’s $10 million pledge to boost female leadership programs — a commitment made after a sexual harassment investigation — will include $100,000 for Fort Worth’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

YWLA is the Fort Worth district’s first and only single-gender school for young women. The funds will support efforts to prepare young women for college, STEM and visual arts education, leadership service and health/wellness programs funded by the Foundation for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth.

“We secure resources to support academic and leadership excellence at YWLA,” said Courtney Radcliffe, executive director of the foundation, said she received news of the donation in an unexpected email.

“My initial reaction was, ‘Wow,’” Radcliffe said, adding that soon her shock turned to honor as she saw the list of organizations included in Cuban’s donations.

Earlier this week, Cuban announced that he is contributing to women’s advocacy nonprofits after an NBA investigation relating to work culture that was rampant with sexual harassment. He promised to give $10 million in donations to organizations that promote female leadership and fight domestic violence.

The donation from the Dallas Mavericks owner was among seven he made to North Texas non-profits that totaled $850,000 and came during North Texas Giving Day, which was Thursday, according to a news release from the school district.

North Texas Giving Day is an annual online 18-hour event that supports area non-profits.

Lisa Rose, president of The Gatehouse in Grapevine, said the organization also received a donation from Cuban. The Gatehouse, a nonprofit that helps women in crisis, received $250,000, Rose said.

“It was an incredible surprise,” Rose said. “We were thrilled because of the impact it is going to make on about 250 women children at The Gatehouse.”

Rose said The Gatehouse is a rigorous residential two-year program that allows women to overcome issues such as underemployment or domestic violence. The facility is located on 61 acres in Grapevine and serves women in Tarrant and Dallas counties.

“We are not a shelter we are a program and place for permanent change,” Rose said.

Fort Worth’s YWLA educates girls in grades 6 through 12. The school is a member of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network.

“I was so excited,” Tamara Albury, principal of the academy, said in the release. “I was so excited for the potential opportunity that my students would be able to participate in because of this contribution.”

Albury said news of the donation via text message woke her up.

“They see the value in what we’re doing and in my students,” she stated. “It’s fantastic. It’s heartwarming.”

Donations were made to the following organizations:

The Gatehouse in Grapevine

Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas

Girls on the Run DFW Metroplex

Helping Hands for Single Moms

Foundation for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth

Women Called Moses

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