Partner Spotlight: The Opportunity Project

Jaime WaltonFront Page, Partners, Spotlight

At the heart of our MOMENTUM initiative, which strives to foster equitable STEM learning experiences beyond the classroom, lies a pivotal partnership with The Opportunity Project. Their unwavering commitment to enhancing out-of-school time (OST) environments has been instrumental in shaping a landscape where youth not only learn but thrive.

Established in 2017 as a component fund of the Tulsa Community Foundation, The Opportunity Project serves as the lead agency for expanded learning in Tulsa, ensuring equitable access to afterschool and summer learning experiences. Serving as the connector and convener of a vast network of stakeholdersyouth and their families, educators, program providers, municipal agencies, and beyondThe Opportunity Project stewards resources thoughtfully, equitably, and effectively to amplify youth success within and beyond the classroom. From August 2023 through February 2024, The Opportunity Project tracked the engagement of 8,152 youth in afterschool programming served by a youth-serving workforce of 40 organizations and 150 in-school professionals. 

The principles that guide The Opportunity Project are reflected in their strategic priorities and tangible initiatives. Through professional development rooted in Tulsa’s OST standards, they empower educators and mentors to create safe, engaging, and supportive learning environments. Guided by the belief that high-quality programming is a North Star, not a final destination, The Opportunity Project supports youth-serving organizations in the continuous quality improvement cycle, ensuring all expanded learning experiences contribute meaningfully to youth development. 

From the inception of AfterOpp in 2018, which provides middle school students with enriching OST experiences, to the launch of TIDEL in 2019, a groundbreaking data management system, The Opportunity Project has consistently pushed boundaries. Their collaboration with Tulsa Public Schools shines brightly through initiatives such as Ready. Set. Summer!, which reaches thousands of youth each summer. In October 2023, Ready. Set. Summer! received national recognition from the National Summer Learning Association and the New York Life Foundation, marking the first time in 30 years that a school district has won the Excellence in Summer Learning Award. 

Among their many resources, they include an interactive map showcasing programs and partners within Tulsa Public Schools, allowing parents and students to easily explore after-school activities and ensuring program equity and accessibility across Tulsa. They also spearhead Tulsa City of Learning, a website connecting youth to diverse, high-quality programs across the city, including STEM, art, dance, and sports.

As we chart a course toward a future where STEM education is truly equitable and inclusive, The Opportunity Project remains an indispensable ally. With a steadfast focus on advocacy, continuous improvement, and fostering meaningful partnerships, they are poised to catalyze transformative change in youth development.

In our shared journey towards empowering the next generation of STEM leaders, The Opportunity Project stands as a beacon of innovation, collaboration, and unwavering commitment to youth success.