Helping urban youth, 14-24 years-old, become economically independent adults.

HARTFORD, CT   |  www.OPP.org


Our Piece of the Pie® (OPP®) is a nonprofit dedicated to helping 14 to 24 year-old urban youth become economically independent adults. OPP's unique model is centered around the personal and consistent relationship developed between each youth and a caring, committed adult staff member which helps youth overcome barriers, access support services within the best practices of Youth Development, Academics, and Job Readiness, and to achieve the goals of high school graduation, a postsecondary credential and meaningful employment. Founded in 1975, OPP provided community- and high school-based programs to 1,700+ young people in Connecticut last year. For more information, visit www.OPP.org.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Ms. Enid M. Rey

Main address

20-28 Sargeant Street


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Formerly known as

Southend Community Services



NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose (O20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over 1M US High School students drop out each year -- one every 29 seconds facing drastically reduced future prospects. In 2015 the annual income gap between those with and without a diploma was more than 140%, adding up to $1M over a lifetime. CT disconnected youth are unhealthier, suffer more unemployment (34%) and are five times more likely to be incarcerated than their peers. Beyond the individual impact, the state spends almost 4x more for health care, corrections & welfare programs for dropouts, an annual fiscal impact (lost revenue & additional expenses) of more than $900 million. By 2020, it's projected that 65% of all US jobs will require some sort of post-secondary credential, making high school graduation an important step on the road to an economically independent future. OPP's objective is to give these vulnerable youth, our target population, the support and alternative routes to education and employment preparation not currently being provided.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

OPP in the Community: Work-2-Learn

OPP’s community-based Work 2 Learn program is a youth center program, where youth in the region can meet with their Youth Development Specialist any time that the center is open. OPP delivers an individualized & effective combination of three fields of best practices in Youth Development, Academics, and Job Readiness. OPP’s Work 2 Learn program is located in two regions in Connecticut (Greater Hartford and Eastern CT (based in Norwich), serving 600+ youth each year. OPP works with youth to develop a long-term plan with short-term outcomes broken out, working towards the attainment of a post-secondary credential and/or meaningful employment. Most organizations work with youth until they're 18; OPP continues working with youth through age 24 to provide the needed support during a challenging time between high school and economic independence. Youth centers are located in Hartford and Norwich, Connecticut.

Population(s) Served

Envisioned as a major part of a city-wide plan addressing the lack of employment and other opportunities for Hartford youth, the Youth Service Corps (YSC) gives youth a meaningful way to work and serve, while earning a wage. Designed to work with youth most in-need, the YSC aims to give youth opportunities to better themselves and their community. Since 2016, Our Piece of the Pie has partnered with the City of Hartford to implement the Youth Service Corps. Corps members participate in paid service-learning projects and, during their year of service, also participate in OPP’s integrated youth development, workforce development and education services. At the end of their year of services, Corps members will exit the program with additional skills and a transition plan in place detailing their goals for the future and outlining steps to take to reach those goals.

Population(s) Served

OPP has developed an innovative pipeline program for youth to complete postsecondary programs and land jobs in in-demand industries. Combining the need for more skilled workers and the need for more supportive postsecondary environments, Our Piece of the Pie built the Pathways to Careers Initiative in 2012. OPP partners with credentialed programs to provide students with the skills that they will need to make themselves competitive in emerging industries. OPP’s staff is on campus and in our center, involved with a youth’s progression, from transportation, childcare referrals, course selection, internship placements, and job searches — OPP is there. Current supported industries include advanced manufacturing, allied health, and culinary. Today’s workforce is a challenging one. With OPP’s support, more than 120 youth are in or completing the PCI program, receiving the access and opportunity they need to succeed in this challenging workforce.

Population(s) Served

The mission of OPP's three high schools are to re-engage over-age, under-credited students throughout Greater Hartford in education, supporting them through mastery of the critical skills necessary for success in college, career, and community. To do this, OPPortunity Academy re-engage these students in their own education and futures by incorporating innovative education and personal support strategies, including: blended learning, mastery-based progression, project-based learning, youth development support, postsecondary preparation, and workforce readiness programs. OPP operates high schools in Hartford, Bloomfield, and Windham, Connecticut.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Promising and Effective Practices Networks 2009

National Youth Employment Coalition

Neighborhood Builders Award 2007

Bank of America

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Many urban youth have difficult backgrounds facing disproportionate levels of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment and crime. The economic recovery has looked more like an ongoing downturn for distressed communities like Hartford. Hartford's median household income ($30,630) is less than ½ the state average ($70,331) and the poverty rate is 33.4%. Only 70.6% of Hartford residents have a high school diploma or better.

These numbers underscore the bleak reality that our Hartford-area youth face. Urban youth face a bleak reality. Caught in a cycle of un- or under-employment, lack of quality education, and overall poverty, they become disconnected and disengaged and when the traditional system stops working for them, they drop out. Even as the economy has improved, for distressed communities like Hartford, it is an ongoing downturn. Research shows that the presence of an appropriate caring adult (the heart of OPP's programming) can improve outcomes for these youth by providing a mentor and coach, someone to show these youth a different way of thinking, a future they can believe in, and help them to obtain the skills, confidence and self-esteem necessary to dream of a better future and provide the supports to help them build a path to get there.

We work with each youth one-on-one to address their specific barriers and ensure that they are accessing the proper services. OPP's programming gives urban youth access and opportunity, helping them to graduate from high school and move on to postsecondary education and meaningful employment. Youth are completing OPP's programs, having learned life-long social/emotional competencies, advanced their academic goals, educational, and gained workforce development skills.

At OPP, we believe that with access and opportunity, all youth can succeed. OPP's unique model is centered around the youth, a supportive relationship, and access to meaningful services. Together, these give youth the skills, tools and support they need to succeed. Our programs help youth graduate from high school, earn a college degree or professional credential, and secure rewarding, well-paying jobs. And the benefits extend beyond the individual. Better educated, trained and motivated employees lead to a stronger workforce which means a stronger economy, including increased tax revenue and fewer social service costs. Youth who become economically independent adults are better able to contribute to and strengthen their own families as well as their communities.

OPP delivers an individualized and effective combination of three fields of practice: Youth Development, Academics and Job Readiness, as described below:

• Youth Development: Ongoing Relationship with Youth Development Specialist; Individualized Success Plan (Goal Setting); Emergency Support; Personal Development; Obstacle Reduction; and External Support Services
• Academics: After-School Tutoring; Standardized Test Prep; College Tours; College Application Help; Financial Aid Workshops; Continued Support when in College; and a High School model for struggling students
• Job Readiness: Pre-Work Work-to-Learn program in Art (Ceramics, Murals, Photography, etc.) and Woodworking/Boatbuilding; Job Skills Training; Career Exploration; Internship Placement; Job Coaching; and Vocational Training

OPP works with youth as they attain these ultimate goals: a high school credential; a postsecondary degree or professional credential; and meaningful, well-paying employment.

OPP provides services in two settings in Connecticut: Community and High Schools.
• Community: Greater Hartford (re-launched in 2005) and Eastern Connecticut (opened in 2012)
• High Schools: OPPortunity Academy Hartford (formerly Opportunity H.S.; opened in 2009); Learning Academy at Bloomfield (opened in 2012); and Path Academy Windham (opened in 2014).

OPP's record for youth is unsurpassed in the region. In the last three years
-- 359 young people earned a high school diploma (113 in 2016-17)
-- An average of 338 students per year at risk of becoming dropouts enrolled in one of three OPP high schools (367 in 2016-17)
-- 785 youth demonstrated career competencies through our workforce course (462 in 2016-17)
-- 396 youth completed a postsecondary program (111 in 2016-17)
-- 226 youth maintained sustainable employment (64 in 2016-17); and
-- 400-500 teens gained job readiness skills and a paycheck in a Summer Youth Employment program2014 - 2017

Since 2005, when OPP began collecting rigorous data, there have been nearly 1,000 high school graduates, nearly 1,000 post-secondary credentials, and nearly 1,000 youth retaining employment for 6 months or longer. We've done all of this with almost $70-million in public and private investments.

Our work has always been about social value and economic return, or simply: Is our work helping our society? Using economists' analytics for the outcomes, over the last dozen years, we've delivered $750,000,000 of economic value to the state of Connecticut so far!



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Board of directors
as of 6/18/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Jordan Coe

Board co-chair

Mr. Daniel Browne

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No