Featured OpenDoors Youth

OpenDoors serves more than 40 local students through educational advocacy, tutoring, scholarships and enrichment opportunities, and we serve more than 40 more through community outreach at local schools and neighborhood initiatives. Below are just a few examples. Learn more about who we serve.

Connor’s 100 Miles– A Benefit for OpenDoors

WHEN: June 19th & 20th, 2020 WHERE: 100 miles beginning in Mills River, NC mostly on the Mountains To Sea Trail WHY: Connor’s goal is to raise $100k to help local students break the cycle of poverty through education. All funds raised will benefit OpenDoors’ To & Through College Access program. We are so excited […]

2020 To & Through Scholarship Recipients

We are always excited to brag about the recipients of our To & Through College Scholarships. These two tenacious OpenDoors students will receive funding and support to attend four years of college! Congratulations Eric and JaZe’l! We are so proud of you and look forward to hearing about what you accomplish at college! Senior, Eric […]

Navante Johnson: An Outstanding OpenDoors Student Heads Off to College!

While in elementary school, Navante Johnson became involved with OpenDoors through friends and family. OpenDoors provided him with an assessment that identified undiagnosed learning differences, and then arranged specialized tutoring, after school care, and access to a variety of enrichment programs and opportunities. Navante has an amazing mom, and Nicole and Matt Baker, who are […]

“How you do this one thing is how you will do everything.” – Zen saying

I know a woman named Theresa. She lives much closer to you than you think. She’s a hometown girl and she attended, but never graduated from Asheville High. She struggled with home issues and told me that she never saw many people from her neighborhood succeed.  She says she didn’t have the confidence or encouragement […]

Thank You to All Pets Animal Hospital!

We would like to extend a warm thank you to our friends at All Pets Animal Hospital on Reynolds Mountain.  Drs. Josh Cook and Eddie Heath graciously welcomed OpenDoors student, Jazel Thompson, into their exam rooms and operating rooms for 2 days of a shadow experience during his Thanksgiving Break from The Gow School.  Jazel was able […]

Celebrating Thanks and Giving

Entering its fifth year, GivingTuesday is a global day of giving, fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — and helps counterbalance the materialistic frenzy of shopping that often overshadows what is meant to be a season of giving. Statistics show, for example, that […]

Improving Student Outcomes Through Middle School Academic Success

By Jen Ramming: OpenDoors loves the middle grades because they are a true test of our methodology, which relies very much on our volunteer TeamLeaders and parents working together to support their students with a “Whatever it Takes” approach.  In order to ensure that our 6th graders are at a best-fit school that embraces who […]

Art Trunkfield and Navante Johnson

Lisa Whittenburg, mother to Jyquwan Boyd, 21, Navante Johnson, 12 and Jaheim and Cynthia, both fourth graders, sees her relationship with OpenDoors as a joint effort. “OpenDoors is helping me break the poverty chain for my kids so they have hope for a better future […] Read more »


Shiiquan is a third grader at Isaac Dickson, an energetic charmer who loves chess club, football, has excelled in soccer, and is looking forward to trying his hand at baseball in the Spring. When we met Shii two years ago, he was a child whose cooperative, easy-going nature in the classroom belied the fact that he was failing to learn to read. […]


Most of the children OpenDoors has the honor to work with, are preschool or elementary school aged. Jasmine, however, came into the program as an 11th grader at Asheville High School. Though her grades were solid, her conduct led her to the brink of losing it all. Believing in her potential, OpenDoors got involved and […]


As with most of life’s best relationships – the one between 5th grader Davon and his OpenDoors mentors Katherine Brooks and Peggy Weil, began organically. No ‘formal’ match up or introduction, just a great kid two women got to know through school activities and their own children. Katherine says Davon has been a welcome member […]


The love for and belief in J’Von by his mentors, served as some of the earliest seeds for what has blossomed into OpenDoors of Asheville. Before his learning differences were diagnosed, J’Von struggled in traditional school. He couldn’t keep up with his studies, so he went for the laughs instead – becoming the class clown […]