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.
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.