OPP’s unique approach to serving youth ages 14–24 is a relationship-centered model for reengaging disconnected youth and leading them toward the goal of long-term economic independence. A typical OPP youth will spend upwards of 160 hours in youth development services, over 200 hours in workforce development activities, and 34 hours in academic support services (in addition to school time), in a relationship that lasts an average of 4.5 years.
The youth who come to OPP have varied backgrounds, but all face some barriers to success – whether they have dropped out of high school; are one or two grades behind; are on track to graduate but could benefit from the engagement and developmental activities that OPP offers; or have a high school diploma and are enrolled in college and/or employed but encounter obstacles to degree completion and/or career retention and progression.
The Youth Development Specialists
Each youth is matched with a caring, consistent and proactive adult (Youth Development Specialist or YDS) who serves as a mentor or life coach by engaging participants on a regular, one-on-one basis. With the guidance of his or her YDS, each youth maps out a realistic, individualized plan for the future based on his/her dreams and aspirations. The plan serves as a written guide that the youth and YDS refer to and adjust on an ongoing basis. Learn more.
Based on the youth’s goals, the YDS connects him or her to a unique mix of programming and services (at OPP and beyond) that provide tools to navigate and overcome barriers and realize their potential, including Youth Development, Academics, and Job Readiness. Learn more.
The YDS continues to motivate, mentor and guide each youth along the way to long-term success: High School Graduation, a Postsecondary Credential, and Meaningful Employment.