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Preparing urban youth for college and career success

OPDC School 2 Career

location_on Pittsburgh, United States
OPDC's School 2 Career program breaks the cycle of poverty by giving high school students academic support and paid internship opportunities with employers across the city of Pittsburgh. 100% of our students graduate from high school, get into college, and are Pittsburgh Promise eligible.
S2C holds students to a standard of professionalism and offers great individual support, resulting in what we experience as focused, motivated young people that have been able to contribute valuable perspectives to the areas we are exploring.

Lindsey Scherloum, Educator for Youth Programs, Carnegie Museum of Natural History


HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

14 - 18
Age Group
Updated on September 17th, 2021
about the innovation

Creating Bright Futures

OPDC's School 2 Career program provides academic support and career exploration opportunities to Pittsburgh's at-risk youth. The program operates year-round, beginning with an extensive and comprehensive paid summer orientation. During the school year, students receive free tutoring, paid internships, Microsoft Office 2016 training and certification, SAT preparation, and assistance in applying to college.

School 2 Career is where CEOs (Career Exploration Officers) begin their journey. Our students explore college and career opportunities while they experience and developing new skills. They connect with professionals while expanding their future educational and professional options.


See this innovation in action

”My mom was the first in our family to go to college. In her time, not many women were encouraged to pursue education and didn’t have all the opportunities we have today. Because her experience was all I really knew about college, I figured I’d have to pursue one of the typical jobs. You know, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher. Without S2C, I wouldn’t have known what to do. I knew I was interested in healthcare but had no idea how to focus that interest. At S2C I also learned a lot of important life skills that I hadn’t learned in high school like business etiquette and balancing a checkbook. I got a leg up getting those skills as a kid and preparing me for the real world." -A'Isha Jackson, S2C Class of 2010
"I want to give back to a positive program through helping students and leading them in the right direction. S2C went beyond providing professional and academic opportunities, also teaching me how to create plans to achieve my goals and how to advocate for myself."-Sean Thomas, S2C Class of 2009
This past year, our students achieved an average GPA of 3.0, logged over 4,000 hours of mentored job shadowing, volunteering, and training, and attended over 41 educational events!
"My involvement at S2C resulted in some incredible opportunities, including getting accepted to my top choice school and receiving a huge merit-based scholarship."-Cheyenne Vining, School 2 Career CEO
School 2 Career isn't just about after-school! Our yearly College and Career Fair gathers over two dozen colleges, universities, and local organizations, to showcase the wide array of opportunities available to our community's youth.


Achievements & Awards

May 2019
February 2019
Innovation page created on

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Identify target population
Determine where and with whom your program will take place.
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Find a space.
Identify a location for a physical Center. In many cities, at-risk students must travel a fair distance between these locations; if at all possible, select a Program Center that is central the community with which you wish to engage.
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Secure staff.
Identify and hire/train staff. For a cadre of 20-30 students, you will need at a minimum of two full-time staff members, depending on the size of your program, who exhibit the professionalism, dedication, and patience to work with at-risk youth.
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Create community partnerships
Create partnerships with community organizations, as well as local businesses, churches, and youth groups. These relationships will be especially helpful in sourcing additional programming, increasing program attendance, and placing program participants in paid internships.
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Get some kids!
Invite students to join your program!
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It's time to get started! Let's put into practice everything we have prepared for the program.
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