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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


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.