Partner Spotlight: US Bank

To address the financial barriers to higher education, East Palo Alto Academy Foundation has had the honor of administering more than $2.4 million in scholarship funds to our hardworking, primarily first-generation alumni over the past two decades. 

One of our key partners in this work has been the US Bank Foundation. For the past five years, EPAA seniors have been winning college scholarships through a competition sponsored by US Bank. The competition challenges students to apply essential concepts from their economics classes – opportunity cost, non-monetary costs/benefits, monetary costs/benefits, and more – to their personal decision to pursue higher education. We’re delighted to report that 11 members of the Class of 2017 won scholarship awards totaling $9,000, while 14 members from the Class of 2018 won scholarship awards totaling $11,000 to meet their college financial aid gap.

These scholarships were made possible by US Bank’s Work – Community Grant, which seeks to provide students with “pathways to higher education and gain greater financial literacy.” Aside from winning cash for college, EPAA seniors develop vital communication skills and boost their confidence in speaking to professionals – skills that will benefit them in college and beyond.

In their own words, EPAA scholarship recipients reflect on the impact of the US Bank scholarship:

College has taught me more about my personal and social responsibility in this world. I learned that as I get older, the impact I have in this world will be entirely up to me. You make it possible for me to be able to receive a college education and to someday be the first in my family to graduate from college. Thank you for your support of my college education.
— Class of 2018 recipient, CSU East Bay student
Being able to clearly consider and weigh out the benefits and disadvantages of my decisions helped me decide to pursue a career as a peer mediator in my high school.
— Class of 2017 recipient, Notre Dame de Namur University student
Thank you so much for everything, for allowing myself and my fellow classmates to attend college and making our dreams reality. I will forever be grateful to you all.
— Class of 2018 recipient, UC Merced student

We are grateful for US Bank’s commitment to our students, and we look forward to our continued collaboration. Together, East Palo Alto Academy and US Bank can effectively promote the financial literacy and access to higher education that will empower our students to access lives of choice and opportunity!