CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A life-changing education and mentoring initiative is helping students reach their dreams.
Open Doors Academy is an academic enrichment program committed to breaking the cycle of multi-generational poverty.
It begins with children when they are 10 years old, and continues through high school and college, into successful careers.
“We like to focus on three numbers: 100, 97 and 49,760. 100 is our high school graduation rate for students who are in our program for three or more years, over the last 16 years. So 100% of (those) students have graduated high school, 97% have gone on to pursue and complete a post-secondary education option, and of those students, the average starting salary is $49,760,” said Ammemarie Grassi, CEO of Open Doors Academy.
“When I grow up I want to be an archaeologist because I like to study science and technology,” said ODA student Tatum.
“When I grow up, I want to be an engineer because I like to do mechanical things,” said student Daveon.
The state of Ohio even contracted the Academy to establish a subsidiary called COSA, the Center for Out of School Advancement.
COSA has hired employees across the state to mentor and support nearly 20,000 children per year.
“We have a motto here that you never give up on a kid,” said Grassi. “It’s through a deep investment in kids that we are actually able to see success in breaking that cycle of poverty."