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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Open Doors Academy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Family Services for Adolescent Parents, Youth Centers & Clubs, Youth Community Service Clubs, Youth Development - Citizenship

Mission: Open Doors works to nurture, protect, inspire and challenge adolescents to reach their full potential through the provision of meaningful out-of-school enrichment activities in a safe and structured environment, and to improve our neighborhoods by collaborating with families and the community.

Results: In the last five years, ODA has grown from one site and three employees to 10 middle school and high school sites and 43 employees. In the last two years we completed a strategic plan, branding and marketing campaign, purchased two new vehicles to help us transport youth, moved our administrative offices to our new headquarters in downtown Cleveland, and standardized our program model in an effort to prepare for future expansion and growth.

Target demographics: ODA serves low-income youth living in high-risk environments in the Greater Cleveland Community between the ages of 11 and 18 years.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 450 Youth and 1,200 family members

Geographic areas served: Northeast Ohio, predominantly serving the Greater Cleveland Community

Programs: Open Doors Academy provides year-round quality enrichment programming that addresses the unique developmental needs of our students. Member youth participate in project based learning experiences such as core enrichment programs and academic tutoring built around their developmental needs, full-day summer camps and service learning trips. Keys to the program include building a safe haven filled with support, creating a sense of community, and fostering the kids' confidence. ODA builds this environment by engaging parents, teachers and other community partners.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

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.



Rating: 5

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.


Rating: 5

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.