About Us

NPEA was formed to meet a need for collaboration identified by a growing number of programs committed to expanding educational opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students at college preparatory schools across the United States. Over time, NPEA has grown to have a diverse and broad membership of programs and schools from across the country supporting underrepresented students on the path to and through college and beyond.

NPEA Timeline

  • Fall 2005: John Klingenstein from The Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund approaches Mike Danziger, founder of The Steppingstone Foundation, with the idea for a network of similar mission-driven organizations.
  • Winter 2005: TSF solicits feedback from similar school placement organizations and holds a reception during the 2006 National Association for Independent Schools annual conference in Boston.
  • March 2006: A reception called Ready.Set.Connect. is held. 75 senior leaders and board members representing 25 organizations attend. Governor Deval Patrick, then gubernatorial candidate, provides keynote.
  • Summer 2006: TSF continues to solicit feedback on the coalition idea from potential members and gathers information at a regional roundtable hosted by New Jersey SEEDS, and a separate Summit held at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT.
  • Fall 2007: TSF receives support from The Goldman Sachs Foundation and continued support from The Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund to research, design and launch a national coalition.
  • Fall 2007: NPEA Planning Council is formed.
  • Fall 2007: NPEA is launched at the 2nd annual Ready.Set.Connect. reception during the People of Color Conference in Boston.
  • Winter 2007: Executive Director begins.

Original Planning Council

  • Rhonda Auguste, Executive Director, The Wight Foundation, NJ
  • Cammy Dubie, Former Co-Director, The Aspire Program at Hathaway Brown School, OH
  • Steve Filosa, Director, Prep@Pingree, MA
  • Jennifer Goldsmith, Former Consultant, MA
  • Tasha Green, Former Executive Director, IL
  • Danielle Heard, Former Executive Vice President of Programs and Operations, The Steppingstone Foundation, Boston, MA
  • Natalie Herring, Former Executive Director, REACH Prep, CT
  • Andy Hoge, Vice President, Admissions & Placement, New Jersey SEEDS, NJ
  • M. Scott Knox, Former Vice President of National Expansion, The Steppingstone Foundation, MA
  • Colin Lord, Former Associate Director of Admission, Choate Rosemary Hall, CT
  • Calvin Lyons, Former Executive Director, Rainier Scholars, WA

Original Planning Advisors

  • Richard Barter, Consultant, The Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, NY
  • Pat Bassett, Former President, National Association of Independent Schools, DC
  • Gene Batiste, Vice President, Leadership Education and Diversity Team, National Association of Independent Schools, DC
  • Steve Clem, Former Executive Director, Association of Independent Schools in New England, MA
  • Bob Sandoe, Co-Founder, Carney, Sandoe & Associates, MA
  • Jay Sherwin, Vice President of Programs, The College Access Foundation of California, CA
  • Meade Thayer, Executive Director, Pacific and Northwest Association of Independent Schools, WA

Founding Members

  • The Wight Foundation, Newark, NJ
  • The Aspire Program at Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, OH
  • Prep@Pingree, Hamilton, MA
  • High Jump, Chicago, IL
  • REACH Prep, Stamford, CT
  • The Steppingstone Foundation, Boston, MA
  • New Jersey SEEDS, Inc., Newark, NJ
  • Rainier Scholars, Seattle, WA