Nearly ten years ago, I founded Education Opens Doors with a vision that all students – particularly those in underserved communities – would have the college and career knowledge and skills needed for long-term success. To achieve their limitless potential. The idea started in my classroom in 2010 and was brought to life with a handful of fellow middle school teachers, many late night pizza orders, and a deep commitment to fighting for education equity.
We dreamed of a world where our students, and middle school students everywhere, would not wish they would have been told sooner about their options after high school, how to pay for college, and the paths they could take to achieve their dreams in an ever-changing landscape.
Reflecting on that day, it never fails to amaze me how far we’ve come and the progress we’ve made since that initial idea. Our customized program and student-focused curriculum, now in its 11th iteration, provides up to 900 minutes of in-school college and career advising versus the 38 minutes that students receive on average in public high schools. And today, a decade later, and as a result of incredibly hard work and resolve on the part of the entire, 24-person EOD team, I can proudly say that the same program has impacted more than 80,000 students here in Texas and across the country.
From a program that began by serving 1,500 students, we now serve nearly 13,000 students annually in seven states, and have raised over $12M in revenue to support, improve and expand our vision. Of note, we are currently on track to institutionalize our work within the second largest school district in Texas ensuring that every single 7th grader in Dallas ISD participates in our program.
I am deeply proud of the work that EOD has done and, even more so, excited about the team that now is at the helm driving how we fulfill our vision for the students and educators that we set out to serve 10 years ago.
Education Opens Doors is, and has been, a life’s work for me and, as the organization enters this next chapter, I know it is in great hands with the senior leadership team we have in place, the strong team we’ve built, and the committed partners and donors who support EOD’s important mission.
The Board of EOD, many of whom have been trusted advisors since our early days and deeply understand the DNA of our mission and vision, will be launching a nationwide search for a new CEO in the coming weeks. I commit to working alongside them to ensure a smooth, thoughtful transition, and have no doubt that they will find, and select, the next leader who will not just honor the organization we have built, but be the right individual to take us into this next phase of our growth.
And, though I will no longer be at the helm day to day after this summer, I step down with an unwavering commitment to this organization and a deep belief in our mission. While I will be supporting our vision in a different way, you can rest assured that my belief in, and alliance with, EOD will be one I carry with me for the rest of my life.
From a small classroom in Dallas as a new science teacher fresh out of college, to where we are today, this has been an incredible ride. I appreciate everything this community has contributed along the way. It is no doubt that EOD would not be where it is now without each and every one of you.
And, I am confident that the past 10 years are merely the beginning of what EOD can do for our community and for our kids. Here’s to the next decade, and beyond.