Since my first year at Open Doors in 2002, I have seen how the program has influenced all of its students and how it has expanded to better benefit its clients. As a sixth-grader, I was very shy and introverted, but throughout my middle school years ODA helped me to cultivate my leadership skills and learn how to make my thoughts heard and respected by my peers. I continued to profit from ODA programming during high school as we travelled to Harlan, KY to build homes each summer, and I took advantage of each opportunity to reunite with my middle school friends and the ODA staff. I am now entering my senior year of college, and I am beginning my second summer in a row working for ODA as a summer program assistant. Because of my continuous involvement with this program, I can personally vouch for the good it brings to the Greater Cleveland community. ODA has helped me in several areas of my life, and I honestly believe that I have benefitted academically, professionally, and personally from my engagement with the program. ODA provides such wonderful opportunities to all of its students, and I can only hope that it will continue to expand and reach an even wider portion of the Greater Cleveland community.
Open Doors Academy has been an absolutely wonderful program for my daughter. We transferred from a Private School and had some apprehensions about public school. Open Doors was the bridge that brought us across the "river". The staff's willingness to help students and parents has been phenomenal and the many activities that include the family as a whole and in parts has definitely strengthened my relationship with my daughter and family. Thank you Open Doors for providing such a wonderful lifelong experience that I know we will cherish for years to come. You are the BEST!
The experience that The Open Doors Academy Program has given me is priceless. The relationship that I have built with other students and staff members is so strong. Open Doors is truly a family. I know for any situation, I can easliy talk to any of the stafff members and they will do there absolute best to help me. Over the years I have watched the sites go from two sites into five. As well as adding Alumni sites at the three different high school, which I am currently invovled in. Overall Open Doors is an Inspiration on my everyday life.
As one of Open Doors first "clients" I have had the great pleasure of watching the organization grow into one of the most important programs in the Greater Cleveland Area. Not only is it important in this locale, but it sets the precedent for successful educational activities and personal development initiatives in communities nationwide. During middle school I'll admit I wasn't the greatest student. However, I stayed engaged in Open Doors, which I know helped me from veering to far away from my education. In high school I continued to stay engaged with the Open Doors program by participating in service trips, and now, as I am working my way through my final years in college, I continue to stay in touch with old friends and staff members of my Open Doors community. Furthermore I routinely hear of the wonderful progress and outreach the Open Doors community continues to make in the Greater Cleveland Area. Not only is Open Doors a successful program, it is essential to the maintaining a upstanding social atmosphere for those who wouldn't have the opportunity otherwise. I loved my time at OD and wish only the best for those currently in the community.
Open Doors is one organization that has truly provided me a wonderful experience beyond belief. Flashback to year 2001. This was the very first year that Open Doors started, and I am proud to say that I was a student in the program that year and throughout my entire middle school years. Open Doors taught me so many valuable lessons that I remembered and utilized throughout high school, but also preparing me to continuously better myself after completing this program. Now flash forward to today, 2012. This past May, I have completed my Bachelors of Business Administration from Northwood University in Midland, MI. Every time I was home, I would make it a priority to visit and volunteer at Open Doors or at least catch up with Annemarie, the Director. Open Doors has been a big influence on my life and my success, so I am so proud to say that I am Alumni from this program. Open Doors has played a positive role on my life that my younger brother also attended while he was in middle school. Now that he is in high school, he is a volunteer and is continuously involved with Open Doors to this day. Although, I am a little jealous of the continued experience that younger students now have with the program as they move up each year in high school. When we attended our program only lasted for three years. But I am glad to see these opportunities arise for students today, to continue on the right path that Open Doors provides. This organization is constantly finding new ways to not only improve themselves but continuously finding ways to help future generations be leaders and have much success. I can only imagine what the future will hold for Open Doors as it continues to expand. I truly believe that this organization positively impacts lives and does their best to make sure that we as students know that we are believed in and that anything we dream is definitely possible. And I believe it is with every students' start here at this program, where those dreams start to come true.
Never have I met a group of individuals who have genuine love in their hearts for the people they serve. ODA staff goes far beyond what is asked of them to ensure the well being of every family in our community. From holiday gift donations, and parent workshops to various field trips and regular everyday programming, ODA staff is committed to making sure that families needs are met.
From the moment i met ODA staff I immediately knew this organization was different than others i had seen. I can say with all sincerity that i look forward to coming in every day and spending time with the kids. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to be a positive influence in their lives. I love what i do.
We are a local foundation that has supported Open Doors Academy for the past four years. We love the comprehensive, personalized nature of the after school model that Annemarie Grassi, the founder, designed and are consistently impressed with ODA's success rates. Annemarie is an exceptional young leader and, along with ODA's engaged, committed Board of Trustees, the sky is the limit as to what they can achieve. We are grateful for their nurturing and development of our community's youth.
I've been working at ODA for a little over a year now, and it has been truly amazing to see the time, energy, love, passion, and dedication to excellence that our staff membmers exhibit on a daily basis. This can be seen in talking with students and parents who have been impacted by ODA in powerful ways: ODA makes a difference by helping improve students academic achievement levels, self-confidence and leadership skills. It provides a safe place for our kids to enjoy healthy relationships with adults and with their peers. ODA helps parents to expand their support base and their practical toolsets to make sure that they have what they need to raise emotionally, socially, and physically healthy children. ODA staff members work tirelessly to ensure that our kids have the chance to succeed! I'm proud of ODA, our staff, and our kids!
I am consistently blown away by the kids that participate in ODA in addition to the level of committment the staff has to the program. It is incredibly heart-warming to hear from the students the impact that ODA has on their lives.
To meet our kids is to understand the importance of our organization. I have personally seen the light bulbs go off in our students heads when they realize, for the first time in their lives, they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. The skills they learn while with Open Doors Academy help set them up for success in school and in life.
One of the reasons I enjoy working at Open Doors Academy is because the organization uses a holistic model to serve youth and families. A major component of the model is building positive and meaningful relationships with parents and youth. This is especially important with the development of youth. Students enroll in Open Doors Academy as early as sixth grade and continue on through middle school and then high school. Through these mentor relationships students are likely to be at less-risk and succeed academically. Working daily with our youth I can say I am witness to the success of our students.
My daughter is an Open Doors student and has been provided with experiences that she will remember for a life time. Zip lining in the woods, going to Cleveland's International Film Festival, volunteering for local organizations and going to local theater productions have all been a part of this program. For many middle schoolers it is a time where they question everything that is going on around them. Open Doors staff was there to help me answer the many questions my daughter had about growing up and about life. The staff provides all of the students with extra support academically and helps develop the students understanding that these middle school years create the foundation that is needed to be successful in high school. All middle schools would benefit from an Open Doors Academy program in their school.