The Education Equal Opportunity Too Foundation (E=O2™), headquartered in Long Beach, California, has developed a unique and effective approach with the vision of challenging and motivating young people to make a lifelong connection between education and opportunity as a means to achieving and sustaining their “American Dream.” The foundation takes a business approach to an “at risk” intervention, offering academically and socially “at risk” 8th grade students an incentive to enhance their future studies: a laptop, printer, flash drive, and backpack is earned by the student if they have fewer referrals to the principal’s office and are promoted to a minimum 3.5 GPA by their graduation. In addition, they will develop essential communication skills and establish networking relationships that will benefit them over a lifetime. Why a laptop? Computers and access to the Internet are the tools of the 21st century, providing students with access to a world of information; and Information is power. The E=O2™ program is a plug-in to an existing Male and Female Academy that is established as a club at the Middle School.
Our organization will be a catalyst for middle school students to make a lifelong connection with education as the path towards equal opportunity and to achieving and sustaining their “American Dream.”
- To positively and measurably impact, motivate, and influence the choices of socially and academically “at risk” middle school youth, establishing within them a connection that “education equals opportunity too®.” As an incentive to kick-start their engagement with mentors, role models, businesses, life skills training, and other transformative experiences, we offer a laptop, flash drive, printer, and backpack. In order to earn the incentive, the E=O2™ program also requires parent or guardian/teacher engagement in at least two school events and student participation of at least one hour per week during the academic year.
- In collaboration with middle school principals, counselors, coordinators, and teachers within the Long Beach Unified School District, the Foundation will establish E=O2™ programs that are plugged into existing Male and Female Academy Clubs. Students will be selected by the school to participate in the E=O2™ program. The first year goal is four middle schools or 240 students (30 Males and 30 Females in Academy Programs per Middle School).
- Create a variety of experiences offered through private and public/non-profit partnerships established by the Foundation that can lead to defining moments for students participating in the E=O2™ program including:
- Field trips to businesses where students will complete mock job applications, interviews, and receive an overview of the organizational structure of a business including functional areas, related jobs, and responsibilities.
- Role models who will speak about the journey they took to attain their current position and the role education played in their achieving it.
- Mentoring, financial literacy, and The Personality Matrix®- a communication tool that teaches students how to manage their predictable behavior to achieve a more positive and satisfying outcome.
- Expose students, who earn the incentive upon promotion from the 8th grade and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA through high school, to a broader scope of employment, entrepreneurial, and business experiences through private and public/non-profit partnerships provided by the E-O2™ Foundation including:
- Internships/Apprenticeships at businesses, non-profits, and governmental agencies.
- Leadership and personal growth programs, such as Camp Enterprise offered by Rotary Club, and youth programs offered by Leadership Long Beach.