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High School Support Initiative Partners

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High School Support Initiative (HSSI) partners with two schools to support local youth through education and mentorship. 

East Palo Alto Academy

East Palo Alto Academy is a small charter school in East Palo Alto serving youth mostly from that city. It is part of the Sequoia Union High School District. The tutoring center is in the school’s library and is an after-school space for students to hang out and find support.

After-school tutoring center

Volunteers sit at tables with youth and help with homework, school projects, and may be asked to do specific subject tutoring. Over time, volunteers are matched with 2-5 youth to work with each week and build relationships. College advising may also be requested if students are seniors.

Menlo-Atherton High School

Menlo-Atherton High is a large public high school that is part of the Sequoia Union High School District, located in Menlo Park. M-As 49ers Academy High School Program is a program within the school that serves youth at the high school, mostly from East Palo Alto, providing case management, individualized support, and an after-school homework space. The Computer Academy is a learning community within the school for 140 students from historically marginalized communities. 

49ers High School Program

The after-school homework space is open for students to drop in and get homework help and academic support. Over time, volunteers are matched with 2-5 youth to work with each week and build relationships. Each quarter, volunteers are asked to help with a workshop for the youth, led by an HSSI Fellow on topics such as social media use, job skills, and college awareness.

Computer Academy

  • Fall quarter - college advising and preparation support for seniors, homework help and tutoring for sophomores and juniors
  • Winter and spring quarters - SAT prep class offered to juniors in the Computer Academy, preparing them to take the June SAT. A curriculum is provided to enable students to work on problems and also gains some test-taking strategies.

At each of the schools, there is a site supervisor who has been designated as the point of contact for HSSI program staff and for the HSSI volunteers. They are the bridge between the volunteers and the high school students. Without their partnership, we would not be able to provide these placements.

In addition to sending Stanford students as volunteers to the schools, HSSI also provides other support activities such as organizing college visits for groups of students from the high schools, providing test preparation workshops, and organizing other field trips to mobilize Stanford resources in support of the students. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do the college visits look like?
    • The college visits are meant to be focused on college access, not so much on "sell Stanford." We provide high school students the opportunity to see a dorm room, visit a dining hall, and talk with students who are from similar backgrounds (first generation, low-income, students of color). The focus is on preparing for college and what high school students could be doing now to get ready for the process.
  • I know high school students at the HSSI partner schools who aren't part of the listed programs. Can they have access to the Stanford volunteers? 
    • At this time, since we are working directly with the named schools and the programs within those schools, there are not currently ways for HSSI to connect Stanford students to high school students who are not in those progarms. 
  • Is HSSI taking on new partnerships with schools or organizations?
    • We are currently at capacity for school partnerships so are not taking requests for new partnerships. 

If you have more questions about the schools or specific placements, please contact us.

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