The largest network of high performing charter schools in North Texas has come a long way. Uplift Education started in the 1990s with a small school in Irving.
Throughout the years it has grown into an education enterprise with 26 schools on 12 campuses and more than 7000 students. The schools have been gaining a lot of national attention.
North Hills Preparatory in Irving was recently ranked the 10th best public school in America by Newsweek and The Washington Post.
1,500 students attend the kindergarten through 12th grade at North Hills Preparatory in Las Colinas. They represent more than 50 different countries.
"Going down the hall, sometimes you hear different languages being spoken. And because we have a really multicultural and diverse campus," said Senior Arina Favilla.
Favilla is from Brazil and has been attending this school since she was in the first grade. She said she couldn't imagine learning anywhere else.
"You get a lot of that one-on-one attention with the teacher which helps a lot, especially when you are struggling with a concept or when you are preparing for the AP or IB exams," she said.
The college-prep school prides itself on setting the bar high for every student.
"Our average senior takes 7 AP and IB exams by the end of their school career," said Charles Ryder, North Hills Preparatory's Dean of AP and IB Diploma Programs.
Uplift Education's CEO Yasmin Bhatia said the school's success only adds to their popularity.
"This past year we had over 12,000 applications for 1,800 spots available across the Uplift network. On this campus alone, North Hills Preparatory, we have 2,500 students on the wait list," she said.
Bhatia also said parent involvement is key to the schools' success, with many donating hours of community service every year.
Favilla says that adds to the sense of community at the charter public school.
"I have a feeling that the relationships that you build here will last a lifetime," she said.
100% of the students attending uplift education schools graduate and enroll in college.