In September of 2000, Brenda Villa and her Stanford women's water polo teammates folded themselves into child-size chairs in the library of East Palo Alto Charter School. The team was volunteering in a tutoring program at the school, which serves a low-income, mostly Latino community just east of Stanford University.
With her quick smile and fluent Spanish, Villa connected easily with her students. But as the weeks passed she discovered a glaring difference between herself and these children. They were missing out on an experience that Villa had taken for granted as a child--an experience that had changed her life.