About Us

Our Mission

OpenDoors breaks the cycle of poverty through education, one child at a time.

Our Vision

We envision a community where all  children succeed.

Who Benefits?

Our work impacts individual students, their families, their schools, other partnering agencies, and the broader community in which we all live.

STUDENTS 

OpenDoors admits students from families experiencing persistent poverty and who are currently enrolled in Asheville City School or Buncombe County School districts as well as students transitioning between schools. We prioritize admission into programming for students most affected by achievement gaps: racial & ethnic minorities, students with learning differences (diagnosed or suspected), and students of families who are living in subsidized housing, homeless or designated McKinney-Vento. We consider all referrals for students experiencing poverty and in need of educational support.

OpenDoors directly serves approximately 50 students at a time in our To & Through college access and completion program.  We serve other students in the community through our Saturday Math Club and other weekend or afterschool enrichment programs. 

For more information on how we work with students, check out the section below!

FAMILIES

Supported Families = Successful Students

Resource – For any family to succeed, housing and transportation must be stable, safe, and reliable. OpenDoors alleviates some of the burdens imposed on families living in poverty, who have chosen private or charter schools, through food and transportation assistance. All families actively participating in our educational programs have access to emergency funds to help with sudden, unexpected challenges.

Advocacy – OpenDoors supports parents and caregivers by providing educational consulting, allowing them to better advocate for their children so they can be fully engaged in their child’s education.  Parents face additional challenges when their children have learning differences and need access to public or privately funded assessments, individualized education plans (IEP), or other academic interventions or accommodations that allow students to reach their academic potential. OpenDoors provides parents the tools they need to help their children thrive in school. These benefits often extend to siblings of OpenDoors students; who might not be directly enrolled in programming.

Networking – Thanks to our broad established network of supporters and partners, we are uniquely positioned to help parents access a variety of resources; from job opportunities, to health and wellness support, and other personal development experiences. While we do not consider this network of support a defined program area, it is an essential asset to the work of OpenDoors in supporting our students and families.

SCHOOLS & PARTNERING AGENCIES

We support our school & community partners by demonstrating our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). We provide coaching and offer increased access to community trainings that help with collaborative relationship building & strategies for improved EDI practices. We work in partnership with local institutions, schools, and agencies who have an expressed commitment to structural and institutional improvements in regards to EDI.

How does OpenDoors work?

Working collaboratively with parents, schools, and community partners, OpenDoors helps students K-12 prepare for college by providing educational intervention, resource support, mentoring, and out of school time programs for students and their families. Our work includes: age-appropriate opportunities like after-school and weekend STEAM focused enrichment, year-round homework help, literacy-focused tutoring, academic assessments , summer & extracurricular planning and enrollment, and educational consulting for parents, students, schools, and other partner organizations.

OpenDoors students in 11th  & 12th grade actively participate in their own success by meeting with staff and volunteers for college guidance, attending college tours, completing FAFSA applications, receiving college application assistance, guided scholarship research, and attending on-campus summer experiences. We stay connected with students and their families as they move To and Through high school and college graduation, with the goal of minimal financial debt. 

When students graduate and enter college, OpenDoors provides To and Through financial awards for tuition, fees, books, and supplies, plus access to internships, mentoring, financial advising, progress monitoring, and planning for next-steps after graduation. For students who decide college is not yet right for them, OpenDoors provides resume writing coaching, job networking, and career-development referrals. 

OpenDoors’ method is student constant, instead of being program constant. We prioritize students who have the academic ability to complete college, but may not yet demonstrate their potential. We assess each student’s individual needs and connect them to appropriate resources at all levels of education and experience. 

We are united in a commitment to fairness, working together to change childrens’ lives.