HistoryFCE Organizational History
Creating the Model
Christopher Roe and Glenn Singleton founded FCE in 1995 with the goal of providing no-cost college advising services to high school juniors and seniors. FCE’s first students attended Woodside High School in Redwood City. In 1997, FCE established a formal collaboration with the Palo Alto Unified School District Voluntary Transfer Program (VTP), a court-ordered desegregation program that allows East Palo Alto families to send their children to school in Palo Alto and other local communities.
Growing the Model
In 1998, Stephanie Wick became FCE’s Executive Director. Under her leadership, FCE expanded its program to meet the broader needs of students and families, developed program policies and standards, increased staff, and created student leadership and expert advisory teams. The organization also designed a college retention program to serve its college students and put greater emphasis on educating families about the college admission process as a means of engendering systemic change in the East Palo Alto community.
Completing the Model
Under the leadership of Dr. Anna Waring, who became FCE’s Executive Director in 2007, the number of students and families served doubled and the organizational budget tripled. Dr. Waring promoted cross-agency collaborations to increase efficiency and expanded the college scholarship component to meet increasing financial aid gaps. The addition of a middle school program, STEAM, in 2013, made FCE the first organization in San Mateo County to support students from sixth grade through college graduation.
Recognizing the Model
2007: FCE was recognized as a model college access organization by the Lumina Foundation.
2011: The Educational Policy Institute (EPI) recognized FCE as one of ten outstanding college access organizations in their publication, A Blueprint for Success: Case Studies of Successful Pre-College Outreach Programs.
2012: Palo Alto Weekly and the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce awarded FCE the Tall Tree Award for Outstanding Non-Profit.
Success Stories Videos
Two minute videos about how FCE has helped college graduates succeed. Click on a video to view.