At the Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream (OCC), high school students participate in education, life skills and employment activities preparing them for college, vocational training or entering the military. The College Opportunity Program (COP) removes the barriers that prevent promising young students who come from struggling family or financial circumstances from seeking higher education. COP is a holistic college assistance program, consisting of two components: college preparation for high school students (Student Achievement Leadership Program) and college scholarships and support.
The Student Achievement Leadership Program or SALT program provides weekly tutoring and ACT prep classes as well as teaching life skills and leadership development classes. The students must be motivated to attain high levels of academic achievement, employment, and strong character. Open gym nights and Bible study groups are optional activities. Occasional field trips, college visits, retreats and career nights are offered. Every summer, students are placed in real work experiences out in the community, teaching them job development skills.
After completing the high school college preparation program, students are eligible to apply for a college scholarship leading them to a four-year college or vocational certification program. Since the majority of the students at OCC will be the first in their family to attend college, removing the financial barriers that could keep them from college is a dream come true.