The grounding principle behind Open Doors Academy (ODA) is simple… we are 100% our kids and we never give up! We understand that in order for our young people to succeed, we must get in the ring with them and fight for their future all the way through adolescence and into young adulthood. Great impact is never the result of short-cuts and short-lived ideas. At ODA, we strive to provide each child with the resources, support system, and network necessary to create a path to success, but we know that it is not enough to simply open the door to opportunity. It also requires a willingness to fight alongside them in order to ensure they stay on the right path into adulthood. Our commitment is paying off. 100% high school graduation rate, 97% post-secondary placement, and 98% post-secondary completion rate. Today, we have over 100 young adults in a post-secondary program.
ODA provides out-of-school enrichment programming for middle and high school youth at 14 campuses throughout Greater Cleveland. We protect, inspire, nurture and challenge adolescents to reach their full potential in safe and structured environment, encouraging relationship-building between youth, families, schools and communities as a pillar for success. ODA currently serves over 550 scholars and 1,300 family members, 90% of which live at or below the poverty line.
ODA is the only program in Northeast Ohio that offers a continuum of support for students from middle school through high school and beyond. Our 7-year curriculum is designed to create linkages between what kids learn in school and the “real world,” empowering our youth to break the cycle of poverty, to make wise lifestyle decisions, to engage in positive relationships with their peers, and to prepare for further success.
By making academics accessible and relevant to our youth, we instill in them a love for learning and recognition that, with hard work and a vision for the future, they can break glass ceilings to achieve their dreams. We offer our students the long-term love, support, and challenges that they need to develop into responsible, healthy and successful adults.
The results are paying off. For every dollar invested in our young people, there is a $5 return in earning power. To date, our investments have demonstrated a return of $3.5 million and growing. Up for the challenge? Jump in the ring and help us fight to break the cycle of poverty and save a generation of young people!
Annemarie M. Grassi, Ph.D.