On August 3, 2012, East Palo Alto Stanford Academy (EPASA) hosted an evening celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of the program. Alumni and current student leaders gathered on the Haas Center’s deck to connect and reminisce about their shared experience mentoring East Palo Alto middle school students and helping them to achieve their dreams.
Lorne Needle, ’87, MBA ’92, program founder spoke to the group: “Through EPASA, I realized I wanted to work with young people for the rest of my life.” Needle went on to say that he wanted Stanford to be a place where EPA youth felt they belonged, too. His vision was realized when he returned to witness a young woman he tutored graduate from Stanford.
More than one EPASA youth has gone on to a successful career at Stanford. Diana Vargas, who completed the EPASA program in 2006, is now a junior at Stanford. Vargas remarked, “Part of the reason why I decided to attend Stanford was the prospect of becoming involved in EPASA. The hope and help EPASA staff instilled in me is something that I want to impart on the students that I now see.”