Our organization was founded in 2001 to provide personal and career development to at-risk high school students who face social, economic, and environmental barriers in Orlando. Since the organization’s inception, we have provided resources to guide more than 10,000 at-risk high school students to finish high school, attain post-secondary education, and gainful employment. This would not have been possible without our loyal donors, supporting partners/sponsors, governmental agencies, dedicated parents, hard-working volunteers, and employees.
This year, I am pleased to announce to our stakeholders that the organization has been quite successful in accomplishing its mission. Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and school closures, we were able to pivot and engage students through creative means. We are happy to report that the organization provided services to one hundred and four high school students. Of those students, thirty-six participated in our summer internship program which seeks to align students with their career interest. Twenty-five seniors who participated in the program this year graduated from high school. Of those seniors who participated, twenty- three seniors will attend college this fall and the other two seniors will be serving their country through military service. In addition, this was the first year of partnering with a major construction company offering students opportunities to learn the field and consider it as a career option. Eight students participated and completed the construction exploration program.
POPS will continue to forge ahead in helping at-risk students in Orlando to develop and emerge as productive citizens despite barriers. We will empower, excite, and foster an environment of creativity and teamwork while building up students’ personal and career development. It is our belief that students can “Believe and Succeed” with proper support and encouragement. Our intention is to deliver this support and encouragement to our students through mentoring, workshops, college tours, cultural field trips, summer internships, post-secondary education planning, etc.
We would like to thank all of you for your support throughout the years and now. Special thanks to our loyal donors, Foundations, corporate sponsors/partners, County Governments, City Governments, other Florida Governments & Educational Institutions, dedicated parents, hard-working volunteers, and employees.