Success Stories

Spirits soar as good grades recognized at Spring cookout

June 2013 – The annual OK for Youth spring cookout is not just about the smell and taste of hot dogs and hamburgers cooking on a grill and balls being tossed on a grassy field. It is also a time of honoring hard work and looking forward to new summer experiences. The group of some 50 mentors and teens celebrated good grades during the past semester. The teens also talked about their summer plans including the many jobs they had landed.

OK for Youth teens practice giving back

Nov. 2012 – OK for Youth teens enjoy one-on-one attention from their mentees at meetings, during personal phone conversations, at sporting events and more. Most understand that they are receiving a valuable gift from adults who are volunteering their time to help others. Several times each year these same youth follow their mentor's examples and get up early on Saturday mornings to pick up shovels, rakes and sod to give back to others. This month they helped build a Habitat for Humanity house. Other community projects this year have included lawnmower repair and yard cleanups for Mt. Bethel UMC.

OK4Youth cheers latest graduate

May 2011 – Recent South Cobb High School graduate Terry Lowe shows his diploma to mentor Steve Hicks, executive director Dale Champion and mentors Frank Harris and Tem Marshall during an Opportunity Knocks for Youth end-of-the-year barbeque in May at Mt. Bethel UMC. The teen/mentor group ate hot dogs and hamburgers to welcome summer and celebrated Terry's graduation. The teens also talked about their plans for the summer, reported on the best book they had read recently and honored good grades by a number of the youth. After a full-time summer job, Terry plans to begin Chattahoochee Tech in the fall.

Gunning awarded Volunteer of the Year award

Dec. 2010 – At the recent Opportunity Knocks for Youth Holiday Dinner, the volunteer of the year prize was awarded to mentor Steve Gunning. "Although we do these things out of compassion and not for recognition, Gunning said, "I appreciate the award very much." His mentee graduated from high school in the spring and Gunning is asking for another mentee. He believes he and the recent graduate will work well together in guiding another young mentee. High school graduation is a significant accomplishment. "Less than 20% of foster children graduate from high school," Executive Director Dale Champion said. "This year OK4Youth participants celebrated a 75% graduation rate with many pursuing higher education." Preparation for the workforce is another objective of the program when higher education is not the young person's choice.

Another OK4Youth teen graduates

May 2010 – Mentor Steve Gunning, Shannon Chambers and Executive Director Dale Champion celebrate another OK 4 Youth success as Shannon is recognized in a graduation celebration in May. After three years in the program with Steve as his mentor, Shannon plans to attend Chattachoochee Tech. Shannon joins OK 4 Youth participants in colleges across the state including Kennesaw State University, Georgia Southern University, Southern Polytech and University of West Georgia.

Opportunity Knocks hails AJC Volunteer of the Year

April, 2009 – Opportunity Knocks for Youth (OK4Youth) mentor Sam Smith earned the 2009 AJC Heart in Hand Volunteer of the Year award at the 24th Annual United Way Heart in Hand Volunteer Recognition Award Program. The April event at the Marietta Conference Center honored some 30 volunteers, nominated for their service to the community. Read more.

Opportunity Knocks for Youth mentor story

October, 2008 – Sam Smith was featured in the September 2008 issue of the “East Cobber,” a community magazine in Marietta, GA. One of the mentor's regular stops on his volunteer circuit is an Atlanta homeless shelter. “I had a dream one night that one of our OK4Youth (Opportunity Knocks for Youth) teens was a client there,” he said. “I don’t want that to happen, that‘s why I take OK4Youth so seriously.” Read more.

Opportunity for Youth is pleased to share its success stories with you. Through the years, OK4Youth mentors have assisted numerous teens with their education. As a result, many are in college, junior college or technical schools and several have joined the Armed Services after graduating high school.

For specific information about how you can partner with us as a volunteer or contributor, we invite you to contact us.