Academy

The Opportunity Jobs Academy (OJA) showcases workplace skills, real-world education, and hands-on mentoring to guide students towards fulfilling careers and financial independence.

We’re excited to begin accepting applicants for the Spring 2021 OJA Program. As we continue to combat COVID-19 in our communities, OJA has shifted its curriculum to a 8-week, online course. Our ideal participant is seeking career exposure and guidance, and to develop the skills needed for full-time employment both as a student and beyond. Classes are scheduled to begin February 16, 2021.

The current curriculum is produced in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation) and the Orlando After-School All-Stars (ASAS). Students will receive an OJA Training Certification and have the opportunity to earn the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) certification – recognized as the highest acknowledgment of award-winning guest service for employees in the lodging industry.

APPLY ONLINE – Deadline Feb. 8 | bit.ly/springoja2021

LEARN MORE | OJA Spring 2021 Flyer

If you should have any questions, please contact youthworkforce@cityoforlando.net.

MENTORS + CLASS SPEAKER OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2020 CLASSES  The Opportunity Jobs Academy is continually seeking business owners and community leaders from the Orlando area to serve as mentors and speakers for the program’s students. If you or your business is interested in participating as a mentor and/or presenting to the class after school, please contact erin@opportunityjobsfoundation.org.

Sign up now or learn more about how you can make an impact as a mentor.


BACKGROUND  Hope and committed guidance are at the core of any young person’s  opportunity  to rise above  challenging circumstances to become successful in today’s America.  Unfortunately, many less  advantaged and at-risk high school teens and young  adults simply give up or choose destructive  paths, not recognizing the alternatives  that exist for them to improve  their lives.

 An initiative of the non-profit Opportunity Jobs Foundation, the Opportunity Jobs  Academy  (OJA) works to show disengaged 16-24 year olds the potential path forward that beginning jobs  can offer to not only the job market, but the career market. The bottom rungs on this opportunity  ladder teach the critical work and interpersonal skills needed to climb to success in any  profession. If you keep someone off those bottom rungs, studies show that their future  employment and salary prospects can be permanently diminished.

 OJA works closely with existing youth community groups, local business leaders and  governments to bring practical education and mentoring to the young men and women who need  it most. OJA provides participants with basic workplace skills, real world education and hands-on mentoring to help them begin along their journeys to economic independence and middle class. The ‘real world’ curriculum accounts for different levels of prior education. The organization takes a long-term view, providing postgraduate support, networking and other services designed to continue guiding Academy graduates long after they complete the program.

HOW OJA IS DIFFERENT OJA’s deep relationships within the business community provide students with access to mentors and jobs across many different businesses and vocations. The common bond is that these jobs are open to all regardless of prioScreen Shot 2015-03-19 at 3.15.51 PMr education or experience, offering a relatively fast ladder upward for anyone willing to work hard and learn.

after-school all-stars logoOJA believes in a collaborative approach that leverages the  unique strengths of existing community support  organizations, such as the at-risk middle school student program After- School All-Stars, as  well as local  government and business leaders. Each student is paired with a mentor who has risen from similar circumstances to achieve success in their particular profession. Utilizing role models from similar backgrounds is very important to the Academy’s long-term effectiveness.

GOVERNANCE OJA is a community-based initiative of the non-profit 501(c)(3) Opportunity Jobs Foundation.