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Our History

UPA Podcast: Our History

"The Stars are Coming..."

When we opened our doors in 2001, Urban Promise Academy founding staff kept repeating these words to UPA's first students. Those kids, of course, were the coming stars. But before they could shine, the school needed a building, a principal, a name—pretty much everything.

This podcast tells that story, in the words of those who were there: Founding Principal David Montes de Oca, Counselor Mary Ellen Bayardo, Community School Manager Glendy Cordero, Principals Gia Truong and Mark Triplett, and founding student and current Restorative Justice Facilitator Agustin Barajas (known to students as "Base").

Former principal and podcast narrator Claire Fisher puts it, "What started as an idea among friends has become a long legacy of warriors, scholars, and artists." Listen to our first-ever podcast below!

The stars of this podcast:

Agustin "Base" Barajas

Restorative Justice Facilitator

Gia Truong

Principal, 2003-2008

Mary Ellen Bayardo

School Counselor

 A diverse group of individuals standing together in front of the Urban Promise Academy sign