The Education Policy Advisors Network (EPAN), an initiative founded in 2003 as part of the National League of Cities and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is "a national network of senior municipal staff who are working with mayors of the nation's 75 largest cities on key issues related to education reform and school improvement." As a member of EPAN, the city of Memphis has the opportunity to participate in biannual conferences geared to create a forum for discussing shared challenges and hearing from national experts on education reform. Memphis even hosted the May 2012 EPAN summer conference. The conference featured speakers such as Dr. Joseph Murray of Vanderbilt University and Professor Kenneth Wong of Brown University, as well as a presentation of one key Memphis initiative called Memphis Youth Ambassador Program, a joint effort between the city and local businesses to give high-school students tutoring, mentoring and general enrichment. The conference also gave the Mayor an opportunity to discuss the implementation of a "cradle-to-career" plan to improve Memphis education. Like its peer cities around the country, Memphis has begun focusing on children beginning at stages as early as preschool and helping them along until after secondary school to optimize the educational pipeline and make Memphis a more knowledgeable city.