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Condoleezza Rice to visit program she started

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday will visit a Menlo Park after-school program she helped start 15 years ago when she was a Stanford University professor.

Rice will visit the Center for New Generation at James Flood School in Menlo Park accompanied by Alexander Downer, Australian minister for foreign affairs.

Rice, a former provost and political science professor at Stanford University, helped start the Center for New Generation with her late father and local philanthropist Susan Ford out of a concern that many children from East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park never finished high school.

The goal of the Center for New Generation is to increase the high school graduation rate of students from East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park.

More than 80 percent of students in the Ravenswood City School District score below proficiency in state reading and math tests and more than half don't graduate from high school, according to Peter Fortenbaugh, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula.

During her two-day trip to California, Rice will also visit Hewlett-Packard Co. headquarters in Palo Alto.

— Don Kazak

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