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Ann Richards School marks 10 years of educating girls

The Ann Richards School is celebrating ten years of educating young women in Austin. (CBS Austin)

The Ann Richards School is celebrating ten years of educating young women in Austin.

"We set out to do something really big and we're succeeding, that to me is just so wonderful," said Ellen Richards, chair emeritus of the Ann Richards School Foundation and Ann's youngest daughter.

Sixty percent of the school's students are considered economically disadvantaged. The students that attend the Austin ISD all-girls public school come from all over the city. Some ride the bus an hour each way to get there.

Ellen Richards grew up with great expectations. She was in her 20s when her mother was elected governor of Texas.

"Her whole life was spent trying to create opportunities for women because she had experienced the barriers for women in her own life," said Richards.

Richards says her mother would be ecstatic at what is happening at the school.

The Ann Richards School is ranked as one of the best in the state and 100 percent of its students are accepted into college.

"I'm going to Walla Walla University," said graduating senior Briana Palacios.

Palacios will be the first in her family to go to college, just like Ann Richards was.

"The most important thing I've learned from here is to be yourself. You see so many girls around you and you want to be like them but in reality teachers are looking for, they want to see the uniqueness in you," said Palacios.

She will study mechanical engineering, a career she never considered before coming to the school in 6th grade.

"Maybe engineering is something I really like and before I didn't even know what engineering was," said Palacios.

The focus on STEM and leadership were goals from the start, before a single student walked through the doors.

"Giving them the support they need to dream big and then succeed would be beyond her wildest dreams," said Richards.

Now the Ann Richards School looks forward to the next ten years.

"This is not a legacy of a statue or a street named after her. It's a living legacy that continues to go on and on and will transform not only these girls lives but the lives of their families and this entire community," said Richards.

Friday, May 12th at 6:30 p.m., a gala is celebrating the 10 year anniversary and helping to raise money for the Ann Richards School Foundation.

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