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Heart Leaders Academy Charter School

Enter with a Heart to Learn.. Depart as a Leader to Serve.


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Organized by Open Heart Leaders


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Why Do We Need A School:

According to the 2019-2020 California Department of Education report; the highest dropout rates were unsheltered youth at 17.5% and foster youth at 24.6%. Additionally, in the San Diego Workforce Partnership 2022 impact report, a staggering 40,000 youth were disconnected in 2020. This number includes 13,000 job seeking youth, and 27, 000 non-job seeking youth. In fact, a majority of the 1st and 2nd generation in most African American and Latino households have 1 out every 3 members who did not graduate with a highschool diploma and are under or unemployed. Establishing a YouthBuild San Diego location provides education, occupational skills training, leadership and more for non-traditional students. This would directly reduce youth disconnection and barriers to economic opportunity. Reaching our youth at this critical point in their lives with support, services and hope is life-changing. OHL believes the relationship between young San Diegans’ and ensuring their access to education and employment, along with providing flexibility would increase the probability of reducing these numbers.

Who Are We:

Heart Leaders Academy Charter School is an innovative educational institution that goes beyond traditional learning by seamlessly integrating education with comprehensive mental health services. Our primary goal is to create an exceptional learning environment where students thrive and embrace their complete selves. We prioritize the holistic development of our students, nurturing their academic growth alongside their emotional well-being. By incorporating mental health services directly into our curriculum, we provide students with essential tools and support to navigate challenges, fostering coping strategies, resilience, and self-awareness. Our strong focus on mental health, life skills, and career paths creates a safe and inclusive space, ensuring that students' emotional needs are met, cultivating a sense of belonging, and promoting positive relationships among peers and staff. As a proud partner of YouthBuild Charter School of California, we are dedicated to empowering marginalized communities and offering a safe haven for students aged 15 to 29 or *higher who are seeking a high school diploma. Through purpose-driven programs such as coding, trade programs, and ongoing education at two or four-year colleges or in the military, we equip our students with the knowledge and skills necessary for sustainable employment and success in all aspects of life.

Heart Leaders Academy emerged in response to a distinct need, recognizing a significant gap between the education system and the local community. As a recently established institution that launched in 2023, HLA is dedicated to surpassing expectations and effectively bridging this divide. Leveraging extensive expertise in addressing systemic flaws within the education sector, Heart Leaders Academy has developed a pioneering learning model that is poised to expand to other cities, making a lasting impact on the education landscape.

Who Will We Serve:

Our program is dedicated to serving a diverse population, including individuals from marginalized communities, those who have been formerly incarcerated, high school dropouts, students with behavioral challenges, students with learning disabilities, students in need of a smaller learning environment, and undocumented students. We are committed to providing an inclusive and supportive educational experience that addresses the unique needs of each student, fostering their growth, and empowering them to reach their full potential.

What Do We Offer:

Heart Leaders Academy YouthBuild Charter School will provide participants high school age and up the access of obtaining an accredited high school diploma. OHL will also provide its organization resources and services to participants of the program through the different four sectors Life, Reform, Educate & Build. These services and resources include but are not limited to:

College and Career & Education Additional Services
Scholarship Assistance
Application and FAFSA assistance
Job Shadows
Academic Tutoring
Flexible Schedule
Job Placement opportunities
Opportunities to earn money
Learning Recovery (Education Assessments)
Language Class {ASL, ESL & Spanish}
Heart Media, Images, Audio, Video, Music
{Podcasting, Photography, YouTube}
Financial Literacy

Case Management & Life Services
Childcare referrals
Housing Referrals
Substance Abuse referrals
Food and Shelter referrals
Anger Management Counseling
Emergency supportive services
County Resources (Medical & Dental Insurance)
Community Resources
Financial Literacy
Bus passes/tokens
Gas cards

SoCal Pre Apprenticeship Program is designed to close the skills gaps within the Construction Industry, with a primary focus on Pre Apprenticeship. SoCal Pre Apprenticeship promotes apprenticeships as a significant workforce solution in filling current job vacancies in the construction industry and closing the gap between employer workforce needs and the skills of the current workforce. 

Students Receive:

Receive $250 upon completion of the program. 

Approved training designed to teach the needed career skills to enter an registered apprenticeship program. 

Access to Supportive Services & Career Counseling. 

Connection to existing apprenticeship programs. 

Registered with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) **start your career with a prevailing wage.**

Pre Apprenticeships Offered:

Pharmacy Tech


Medical Billing


Construction (Hazwoper, First Aid, OSHA10)

Creating Coding Careers
provides participants high school age and up the opportunity to train for industry sectors and occupations that have not traditionally deployed apprenticeships for building a skilled technology workforce. CCC will provide training, education, networking, and mentorship opportunities for youth in the program as well as enrollment into pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships in software development, and computer programming classes. 

The Creating Coding Careers registered apprenticeship program is approved by both the US Department of Labor and the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Apprenticeship Standards. Our apprenticeship program provides 12 months of intense high-quality training delivered virtually to all participants. This training includes 21stCentury Skills training, FullStackJavaScript, and ReactJS.


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Open Heart Leaders

A 501(c)(3) Public Charity

EIN 47-4787230