History

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Milestones in EPATT's History

(1988 - present)

1988 - Founded by Stanford All-American, Jeff Arons.  Originally conceived as a “summer, tennis-only” program, conducted on leftover courts of the closed “Ravenswood High School.”  Founding Advisors:

  • Paul “Red” Fay, Former Undersecretary of the Navy (JFK)

  • Jack Gifford, Founder and CEO, Maxim Integrated Circuits

  • Dick Gould, Men’s Tennis Coach, Stanford University

 1989 - Program visited by Jack Kemp of HUD.  

1990 - After old courts were demolished, Jeff raised funds to build four new courts -- still the only courts in East Palo Alto! -- on the site of Caesar Chavez Academy Middle School.  EPATT becomes year-round program.

1991 - Academic component added.  Hired first Academic Director, Dee Dee Terzian.

1992 - East Palo Alto earns title of “Murder Capital of the United States" for having the highest per capita murder rate in the U.S.

1993 – Initiated Annual Dinner fundraiser.  Built four additional courts at Cesar Chavez to meet demand.

1994 -- Added after-school tutoring thanks to a collaboration with Stanford's Haas Center for Public Service.  Over 70 Stanford University student volunteers are transported to East Palo Alto weekly to provide academic tutoring for EPATT students.

1995 – EPATT receives national recognition.  Featured nationally on CNN and "CBS Evening News” as a symbol of hope for the East Palo Alto.  EPATT featured in Tennis Magazine.

1997 - Courts removed to make space for portable classrooms, parking, etc.  Classrooms used for after-school tutoring burned down.  

1998 - Program moves to Stanford University’s new Taube Family Tennis Center, with a new Executive Director and a new Academic Director.

1999 - A million dollars raised in one evening to build out classrooms under tennis stadium seating and to add lights to the tennis courts.

2000 - Staff offices move from Haas Center to Taube Tennis Center.  Vans donated for transporting EPA students to Stanford.  Original format expanded to include one and a half hours of daily after school one-on-one tutoring by Stanford students and one hour of daily tennis instruction. Over 100 students and 100 tutors involved daily. 

2002 - Named one of top three tennis and tutoring programs in U.S. by Tennis Week Magazine.

2003 – EPATT implements its Parent Component.

2004 - Receives Stanford University’s first Annual “Community Service Award” as a benchmark outreach program.

2008 - Named by First Serve as nation’s #1 after-school tennis and tutoring program.  Considered the model such program in the U.S., and visited by people from throughout the country to see “how EPATT works.”

2009 -- After 12 years under the YTA organization, EPATT becomes an independent non profit 501(c)(3) organization.  Stanford signs five-year facility use extension.

2011 - EPATT reaches back out to the community with introductory tennis on resurrected court space and basic group academics in EPA. 

2012 – During the U.S. Open tennis tournament, CBS Sports aired a nationwide tribute to Arthur Ashe featuring a special film about EPATT.

2016 - Receives Stanford University’s first “Community Partnership Legacy Award” in recognition of continued initiative, leadership and involvement in efforts that benefit the overall community.