In California, 46% of students in the foster care system do not graduate high school. Foster youth are not the only children struggling to succeed. Teens living in poverty are 25% less likely to graduate from high school than their middle-income peers. Knowing these dismal statistics, Orangewood Foundation’s vision was to create an educational environment that would help students graduate and ultimately break the cycle of generational poverty and abuse. That school: Samueli Academy.
As a public charter school, private capital is needed to buy the land and build the school.
In late 2011, a $25,000,000 capital campaign was launched to build the first and second phases of the project. It was completed in 2015 thanks to the many individuals, corporations and foundations who rallied together to support the high school.
A third $35.5 million phase capital effort is now underway. The Campaign for Innovation in Education will fund the building of a Residence for foster youth, 7th & 8th grade building and a Student Innovation Center.
YOUTH CONNECTED RESIDENCE
Foster youth change placements as many as 22 times by their 18th birthday. This often means a change of school. As you might expect, this upheaval and instability negatively impacts their educational progress. Working collaboratively with former foster youth, Orangewood Foundation designed the Youth Connected Residence. It will be the next level of care afforded to foster youth on the Samueli Academy campus. “For housing to be on campus…that will be huge. I could have focused on school instead of worrying about my living situation,” a former foster youth states.
7th/8th GRADE BUILDING
Too many of the students who come to Samueli Academy as freshman are multiple years behind grade level in Math and English. Passed from one grade to the next without sufficient understanding of the fundamentals, they cannot write a full paragraph or complete basic math problems. Because students must pass their classes in high school in order to graduate, it is our job to get them to grade level as quickly as possible. Samueli Academy has done an excellent job of helping to catch a student up academically but we can be even more effective by starting to work with that student two years earlier.
STUDENT INNOVATION CENTER
To enhance the educational experience at Samueli Academy, additional academic and youth support spaces will be added: an Engineering Fabrication Lab, a Design Lab, College Career & Alumni Center, Student Union and Student Support Services for our foster youth.
The Campaign for Innovation in Education
is being spearheaded by Campaign Co-chairs Susan Samueli and Shannon Tarnutzer and Capital Campaign Director, Pam Shambra. If you would like to make a contribution, please contact Pam at 714-619-0211 or firstname.lastname@example.org