Join this SMASH parent in supporting LPFI’s 10 Cubed Campaign to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of SMASH!

LPFI recently chatted with one of our supporters who also happens to be the mother of a SMASH alumni. We were so inpsired by her generous spirit that we thought we’d learn a little more about her and why she chooses to support SMASH.

LPFI: As you know, this year is the 10th Anniversary of SMASH and to celebrate this milestone, we’re launching our “103 Campaign.” Through this campaign, we hope to get SMASH parents to give $10 for 10 months to celebrate 10 years of SMASH. What would you say to parent who is thinking of signing up for $10 monthly gifts?

Chandra W.: I would say that $10 a month is a nominal gift, a very affordable gift, and a chance to keep the program afloat by giving other children a chance to go to college thanks to the preparation that SMASH offers them.

Wallace Family Thanksgiving


LPFI: Your son, De’Andre, is a part of the SMASH program at Stanford. Is this something that you encouraged him to apply for or did De’Andre come to you with this idea?

CW: A good friend of mine told me about a program like SMASH that involved medicine.  We got the application in too late for that particular program and we were so bummed out.  Fortunately, the same friend told us about SMASH and we felt blessed to have another chance to apply!  De’Andre did not come up with the idea but he did have to sign on to the responsibility of doing well in the program.


LPFI: What aspect of the SMASH program has had the biggest impact on De’Andre? What aspect has had the biggest impact on you as a parent?

CW: I think I can safely speak for De’Andre and say that the experience of living on the Stanford campus, away from home and having a taste of college life, made a major, if not the biggest impact on my son. As for me, the idea of him handling himself without us for 5 weeks let me know that he was mature enough to go away to college. The college preparation in terms of filling out college apps, resumes, financial aid apps, etc. was completely impactful to me. I’m so thankful!!!


LPFI: Can you tell us about why you initially decided to donate to Level Playing Field Institute? Why have you continued to do so for the last three years?

CW: I wish I could contribute more to the fabulous programs LPFI has available for people of color, low income, and 1st time college-bound students. The program is so valuable on so many levels. It also offers a tremendous opportunity in terms of giving a chance to so many deserving students that fit LPFI’s criteria.  What SMASH and LPFI have given to De’Andre is priceless.  I totally want to pay it forward!

Chandra Beach


LPFI: Why do you choose to give via monthly installments vs. a one-time gift?

CW: We’re a one income family, and I’m giving out my own small account.  I can better afford to give it monthly than a lump sum.


LPFI: Anything else you’d like to say to other SMASH parents out there?

CW: I feel that my son was blessed to have been a part of the SMASH program.  SMASH was a major agent in preparing my son for college.  My son suffered from two serious diseases and not once have we been asked to withdraw him from the program when he got sick.  When he went on a college tour with SMASH to southern CA, my son got sick and had to be hospitalized.  The amazing instructors and chaperones would not leave my son’s bedside until my husband and I got to LA.  Some of them missed out on the tour because they would not leave my son by himself.  My husband and I could not express enough the gratitude we felt for their compassion and selflessness.  That story alone makes me want to donate to LPFI!  My donation is a l gesture of my thankfulness and appreciation.

Wallace Family w/Jerry Rice


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