The name Live In Peace originally developed in response to a time of high violence in the community. Students of ours were in the heart-breaking habit of making "R.I.P." t-shirts that bore the faces of friends or family members who had been killed. We hoped to begin combating what had become a tragic norm in our youth culture by launching a line of "Live In Peace" t-shirts bearing the faces of our graduates, leaders and community heroes who were very much alive and thriving. As our work grew and developed, the "L.I.P." brand became the natural identity for our organization. While rates of violence are thankfully nowhere near what they were in the past, "Live In Peace" is also a response to the death of dreams and visions, an all-too-common injustice affecting our youth.
Students Who Achieve Greatness: our high school academic re-engagement program resulting from a partnership between L.I.P., the County of San Mateo, and Sequoia Union High School District.
Gap-Year Project (NEW!)
For students who aren't yet sure what their next step is after high school, the Gap-Year provides a cohort model in which young people explore their options. Some will go on to college, while others may pursue a trade.
Our college scholarship and support program, the College Initiative has resulted in a graduation rate 6x higher than the national average for students in our demographic.
The Live in Peace Bike Shop was built on the understanding that most young people thrive in project-based learning, even when they are not successful in traditional academic settings.
The foundation of our work is simple: we're family.
We are a team of EPA community leaders, with over 150 years of collective youth development expertise, who function as extended family members to our students and to each other. We operate in the same spirit of the village that birthed East Palo Alto. Any success in our program areas is owed most significantly to this family spirit that shapes our work. Our homes and our program spaces are second homes to our students. With rapid gentrification displacing community members, our homes sometimes also become primary residences for students in transition. Simply put, we are a family who loves this city and will do whatever we can to support the preservation and advancement of its people and cultures.
Our model, as you can see below, is similarly simple:
Hire local, community leaders (the context for the model)
Build supportive relationships with youth, fostering a sense of belonging (the family)
Develop skills and create opportunities for success (our programs)
Graduate self-sufficient, highly educated, socially conscious young leaders (the result)
Alive & Free
Our core methodology comes from the Alive & Free model in San Francisco (also known as Street Soldiers). Alive & Free is a personal development model rooted in nonviolence and healing. We work with young people to overcome whatever barriers they face to a peaceful and fulfilled life, whether those barriers are internal or external. Sometimes this means long talks and tears. Sometimes it means advocating for students at school or in court. Sometimes it means trips to the mountains or the ocean. And of course it includes skill building in our program areas along with academic support. The specifics of our work are as varied as they are for any family devoted to the success of its children. In the same way, we see the power and beauty of every one of our students, especially when schools and other systems have given up on them. All of our programs are venues for our students to discover, develop and direct their creative genius for the benefit of their community and the broader world.
"Uncle Bob" Hoover
Beth Kawasaki • GSV Labs / ReBoot
Ime Archibong • Facebook
Lisa Gauthier • Facebook / EPA City Council
Dr. Bernie Gifford • UC Berkeley
Sri Raga Velagapudi • Google
Grace Griffin • Menlo Church
Peg Phelps • Independent Financial Services
Dr. Omowale Satterwhite • Leadership Incorporated
Dr. Frank Wells • Santa Clara County Office of Ed.