Windows of Opportunity (WOO) provides students enrolled in grades K through the University Level with a healthy, safe, supportive, and positive environment in which they can be encouraged to discuss themselves as persons of infinite worth and potential. The Need WOO shifts the current educational model from a disempowering system to one that includes leadership, empowerment training, and values identification, with a focus on increasing self-esteem. WOO uses media, entertainment and fashion to inspire awareness, build excitement, and create partnerships that support our youth in being the leaders of TODAY. WOO sources the power of youth to allow them to have a voice in understanding who they are, what they value, and how that translates into the world. WOO manifests classrooms that are free from harassment, violence and bullying, and focuses on acceptance and diversity. Youth are not embattled but are battling challenges and stresses that adults today did not have to face at their age. What are the Challenges? • Each year, approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21, die as a result of underage drinking. • 8,000,000 or more people in the United States have an eating disorder. 90% are women. • One young person commits suicide every 2 hours and 7 minutes. • 97% of middle school students are bullied while online. • 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school. • Young people age 13 – 29 account for 40% of new HIV infections. • 7000 American High School Students drop out of school every day. • Disparity between resources available to students in high-need communities and high expectations for their performance. • Increased demand for high-quality academic interventions that will close the performance gap among students. • Increased demand for innovative social interventions that will reduce or eliminate the developmental impact of poverty on learners. • Insufficient funding to serve burgeoning at-risk population. ? Windows of Opportunity, Inc. Keys To Success • Innovative designs and delivery of leadership programs, curriculums, conferences, and workshops for youth. We empower this next generation to develop a sense of self worth, interpersonal skills and the self confidence required to create a happy and productive life. • Inspiring the entire community and being committed to provide services to all youth, especially at-risk youth in low to moderate income families and communities. • Impacting and empowering youth to believe in themselves from the inside out, and to increase their self-efficacy skills. • Visionary statewide and local strategic plans and interactive involvement from community partners. • Twelve-month comprehensive programs and services that promote educational and personal excellence among at-risk youth. • Effective K-16 articulation. • Professional development strands that facilitate innovations in academic and social intervention. • Collaborative venues for generating systemic and sustained resources for at-risk students and high need schools. • Parent/extended community involvement. Program Goals: • Increased self esteem, increased popularity, increased sense of personal control, and enhanced identity development; • Better development of such life skills as leadership and speaking in public, decision-making, and increased dependability and job responsibility; • Greater communications in the family; • Fewer psychosocial problems, such as loneliness, shyness, and hopelessness; • Decreased involvement in risky behaviors such as drug use, and decreased juvenile delinquency; • Increased academic achievement; and • Increased safety (youth feel safe at home, in school, and in their neighborhood). • All students will meet high standards for academic performance and personal behavior and demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by a dynamic world. • The Public will be served by qualified, ethical professionals who remain current with the best practice in their field and reflect the diversity of New York State. • Education, information and cultural resources will be available to all people. ? Windows of Opportunity, Inc. Benefits • WOO will maintain its status as an effective youth development and leadership agency. • WOO students will continue to be involved, give feedback, and assist first hand in the development of programs that will address their needs. • WOO youth leaders will be prepared for the rigors of postsecondary education and the workforce. • WOO will continue to promote responsible behavior and create leadership opportunities for our youth. • Academic intervention strategies of partner schools will be enhanced. Successes • Last year, 9,720 at-risk high school and college students received services through WOO. • Activities include leadership development workshops, mentoring, counseling, support groups, community service events, open mics, concerts, fashion shows, global leadership events, plus college and career exploration activities. • Last year, Windows of Opportunity provided over 437,400 hours of support services for an average of 45 hours per student. • Through our Love in Action program, Windows of Opportunity youth were successful in providing emergency services globally for youth in Haiti, Ecuador, and Guyana. • The Inner You Program at Windows of Opportunity conducted their 15th Annual Dream Out Loud Youth Leadership Conference for 300 youth throughout New York City, completely organized and implemented for youth by youth. • Windows of Opportunity is partnered with prestigious programs at St. John’s University and Pace University, as well as coordinating programs with 3 high schools that have NYS Priority School Status at Flushing High School, John Adams High School, and Richmond Hill High School. • Last year, 88% of youth in WOO programs either graduated from high school or were promoted to the next grade. • Of the above graduates, 95% had plans to enter college. • Of the college-going graduates, the majority had plans to attend institutions in New York State.