The Opportunity Jobs Academy strengthens communities by helping vulnerable teens and young adults recognize the real pathways to the middle class that opportunity jobs offer, and by providing the coaching and practical education needed to begin and sustain their journeys.
MENTORS + CLASS SPEAKER OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2019 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 email@example.com.
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 prior education or experience, offering a relatively fast ladder upward for anyone willing to work hard and learn.
OJA 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.