Executive Director's statement
Open Doors Academy (ODA) provides out-of-school enrichment programming for middle and high school youth at eight sites in 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 320 students and 700 family members, 88% 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 ceiling’s 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.
In Cleveland, only 52% of students who enter the 9th grade graduate from high school. Of those, only 23% will go to college and only 7% will graduate from college in 6 years. Boldly underscoring the success of our program, ODA boasts a lifetime 100% high school graduation rate since our incorporation in 2002. Of our graduates, 91% have gone on to college, and our first class of 3 will graduate from college this year.
Annemarie M. Grassi, Ph.D.