Who is Opportunities Unlimited?






Our Beginnings

Opportunities Unlimited Charter High School was developed by Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Inc. (YOU), a non-profit 501(c)(3) community based organization developed as part of a challenge grant awarded to the City of Los Angeles by the U.S. Department of Labor in 1990. YOU Clubhouse was located in the heart of South Central Los Angeles. According to the Zip Code Data Book for Service Planning Area (SPA) 6, (Zip-Code-Data-Book, 2003) the target area for YOU and Opportunities Unlimited has the highest levels of single moms, homicides, juvenile                                                                                        arrests and persons living below the poverty level in all of                                                                                        L.A. County.

Who is Opportunities Unlimited?


We are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Our charter educates historically disadvantaged youths. These youths’ residence feeder high schools are largely Washington, Locke, and Fremont. Our charter specific goals are to produce graduates who are college-ready and prepared for the global economy. We accomplish these outcomes by achieving the following learning goals: (1) social change agency/social justice, (2) life-long learning, and (3) critical thinking with an emphasis in the analysis of historically disenfranchised populations.

We know of charter schools that apply stringent academic standards in considering children for admission. At Opportunities Unlimited, we believe that ALL children should receive a fair opportunity to obtain an education that will allow them to realize their God-given potentials. We therefore extend an unlimited opportunity to students that are challenged, as well as those that are gifted; to those that have been troubled, as well as those needing more individualized support. Many of our students are experiencing the sweet taste of success and are craving more!

Opportunities opening year was 2005-06. Our lease commenced in August 2005, at 88th Street Church of God and Christ located at Los Angeles, CA 90044 . The school remained at this location for the first year of our charter, 2005-06. Opportunities quickly outgrew this location. In August 2006, our school leased Opportunities Baptist Church, located at 10513 S. Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90044. As our school continued to grow we began seeking other options in order to accommodate our increasing growth and we were fortunate enough to find Paradise Baptist Church located at 5100 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, Ca 90037. This new facility can house all of our students and staff and it allows opportunities for future growth.

Opportunities!

Within this SPA of more than one million people, 14% are children age 10-17, and the median age of persons in the community is 26 years old. Forty percent (40%) of children live with a single mother, and 10% with a grandparent. There were 308 homicides in the area in 2001, and 3,600 juvenile arrests. Thirty-three percent (33%) of all persons living in the SPA live below the poverty level. As proven by the successes of YOU, Opportunities Unlimited is strategically positioned to improve the community through education.

Our student population has a large number of students who qualify for the free lunch program due to low family income. The community also reflects a large population of recent immigrants to the United States, especially from Mexico. Because of this, many students have Spanish as their first language, and are classified as English language learners. Through its curricular programming and Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs), Opportunities Unlimited students will have exposure to an ethnically diverse network of high school students which will allow students to have conversations/ awareness of students from other districts and other countries around the world, so that ethnicity becomes an asset, not a barrier, in their learning community.

Opportunities Unlimited Charter High School, in partnership with the Los Angeles Community, local colleges, universities, and corporate partners create an environment where students, grades 9-12, excel in academics with technical integration, and then utilize their abilities and expertise to propel themselves to a college education and expanded employment opportunities. This collaborative relationship created from the shared philosophy of our urban community, which is to educate the whole child, acknowledging the socio-welfare needs of students and their families by recognizing and addressing the individual needs of the child within a multicultural environment and in the belief that each child will become a competent, self-motivated, life-long learner who is prepared to compete in a global society.

Expected School-wide Learning Results (ESLRS)

Expected School-wide Learning Results are the outcomes we expect our students to learn during their matriculation with us. Opportunities’ multi-talented teachers work in interdisciplinary teams. Their skills and efforts developed the following ESLRS :

Independent Thinkers:

  • Active Learners - A person who is interested in positively impacting social change, participating in intellectual debate, listening respectfully, asking questions, and maintaining the highest respect for the learning environment.
  • Take a futuristic approach to creating a goal-oriented road map to success
  • Critical Readers actively seek to advance their thinking along the higher levels of Bloom’s continuum
  • Critical Thinkers consistently challenge the status quo and are mindful of various perspectives, and abstractly process information in order to compete in the global economy.
  • Learn to use their intuitive skills to anticipate/promote future change

Life Long Learners:

  • Reciprocal Motivation- acknowledges the power of words; stay motivated, and motivate others to learn.
  • Commitment to cultural sensitivity, cultural awareness, and an eagerness to learn from diverse populations.
  • Acknowledge that dialogue is essential for effective communication and maintain an environment where diverse ideas are promoted.

Social Change Agency/Social Justice:

  • Empower self and community so that there is no partaking in self-defeating behaviors/practices/mindsets.
  • Understand that “School [is] the agency for helping young people to deal effectively with the critical problems of contemporary life"
  • Promote Positive Citizenry-Develop social climate in which drug use, gang related activities/affiliation, violence, stealing, vandalizing are eradicated.
  • Serve as mentor/role models for community advancement.
  • Participate in community organizations/events to create positive change in community
  • Understand that the best defense of democracy is the protection and promotion of all viewpoints.

We appreciate your interest in our organization and look forward to entertaining any questions you may have. As you peruse our website please read about our educational philosophies by selecting “Staff Directory”.



Sincerely,

Kevin Simmons
Executive Director