Professional Opportunities Program for Students Inc.
4401 Vineland Road
Suite A-10
Orlando FL 32811
Contact Information
Address 4401 Vineland Road
Suite A-10
Orlando, FL 32811
Phone (407) 843-1202
Fax (407) 843-1206
Web and Social Media
Donate with a credit card

The mission of POPS is to enrich the life experiences for teenagers as they transition in to adulthood by providing personal and professional development opportunities that will have generational impact regardless of the social, economic or environmental barriers that they may face.


The mission of POPS is to enrich the life experiences for teenagers as they transition in to adulthood by providing personal and professional development opportunities that will have generational impact regardless of the social, economic or environmental barriers that they may face.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Judith E Mitchell CEO
Board Chair Walter Hawkins
Board Chair Company Affiliation City of Orlando
IRS Ruling Year 2001
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph
Projected Revenue $380,000.00
Projected Expenses $400,000.00

The mission of POPS is to enrich the life experiences for teenagers as they transition in to adulthood by providing personal and professional development opportunities that will have generational impact regardless of the social, economic or environmental barriers that they may face.


The mission of POPS is to enrich the life experiences for teenagers as they transition in to adulthood by providing personal and professional development opportunities that will have generational impact regardless of the social, economic or environmental barriers that they may face.



2016-2017 96 students received support and guidance .  

Accomplishments 2016-2017:

·        Hired CEO/President, (Judith Mitchell) with more than 20 years  executive nonprofit experience.

·        Recruited two additional board members; General Manager/CEO Lake Apopka Natural Gas Samuel Davis, and Marketing and Global Communications & Public Relations Manager Tupperware Brands, Kimberly Brown.

·        Diversified funding beginning with the first Annual Power to Succeed Breakfast raising nearly $30,000, during which the single largest unrestricted corporate gift of $10,000 was received.

·        Provided in-school/after-school weekly group mentoring sessions and monthly skill building workshops; (105 student’s grades 9-12).  Workshops increased student’s professional proficiency, financial competency, positive identity and self-confidence.

·        Provided professional work readiness training to all students; 42 students received POPS paid internships. 5 students were hired by local POPS collaborating companies; and others secured paid work experiences per their needs.  

·        All seniors (49) enrolled in POPS applied to college. 46 committed to attending college this fall.

2016-2017 Goals:

·        Continue to diversify funding through the establishment of an Annual Giving Campaign to include Special Events, Corporate Sponsorships, Major Gifts, Year-end Appeals, Grant & Foundation solicitations.

·        Increase internship experience for all participating students; including POPS alumni. 

·        Collaborate with OCPS Technical College and local funders to develop “Early Start POPS Camp” which exposes 9th graders to career & educational opportunities.

·        Secure funding for POPS persistence program through 2nd year of college.


Independent Research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or program effectiveness? Yes

 POPS Most Pressing Needs:

1.      Secure new funding partners with mission alignment to work together with the POPS organization.          These relationships will enable POPS to successfully diversify our revenue sources.

2.      Partner with local business partners to invest in the lives of our students by providing 7 weeks of          "paid summer internships" for our highly motivated POPS students. 

3.     Volunteer "Mentors" from all walks of life willing to share their professional journeys with our          students by participating in a monthly workshop. 

4.      Funding partners to provide consistent and repeated financial resources necessary to support the          operations of the organization.

5.    Chaperones for college tours, and other volunteers willing to guide and coach students through the         task of writing college essays, developing resumes and overall professional behavior. 


POPS has been committed to preparing teens for FUTURE SUCCESS for more than 15 years.  Rooted in the collaborative efforts of students, parents, schools and community and business leaders, POPS’ focus is to assist teens in the completion of high school, motivate them to pursue advanced education and obtain gainful employment, while providing critical resources and experiences that reinforce their abilities and talents to achieve lifelong success that will have profound influence on their families and communities.

Professional Opportunities Program for Students (POPS) was formed as a response to the lack of structured summer activities for high school youth in low-income neighborhoods of Orange County, FL. A successful “summer jobs program” was formed for several students, which eventually led to the founding of the nonprofit POPS. The organization focused on services that provided at-risk high school teenagers with the knowledge and experience to successfully navigate the personal and academic challenges they encounter living in low-income areas of the community. A particular area of concern was the students’ low high school graduation rates, lack of career and college readiness and the absence of summer employment. By providing summer internships, the POPS program became part of the community’s effort to prevent behaviors that lead to crime involvement, drug use, early pregnancies, and other actions that negatively impact future success. In an effort to increase school success and summer employment, POPS worked to secure funding to provide year-round program services, and in 2008, POPS expanded its reach in to four schools in Orange County (Evans High, Jones High, Oak Ridge High and Wekiva High).

Today, the POPS program has increased high school graduation and post-secondary success by 98%, and has offered services to more than 5000 students. POPS serves as a deterrent against the possibility of lifelong poverty, crime, incarceration, substance abuse and economic immobility. POPS ensures on time graduation and preparation for a meaningful post-secondary experience, with the objective of providing a pathway to socio-economic mobility, resiliency and lifetime sustainability that will impact future generations. POPS’ comprehensive set of program services include-mentoring, character education, money management, college preparation and workforce development and training.

CEO Statement

"Why Our Work Matters: Both the individual and the community suffer when our youth do not graduate from high school. Unfortunately, individuals who “drop out” – do not graduate, gain a GED after leaving High School or make a smooth transition into the workplace, pay a price not only today , but later on in life. More specifically, they are more likely to get involved in alternatives to work such as criminal activities, as well as rely on public assistance and government health programs. (Belfield, Rosen, Levin, 2012). Despite significant efforts made by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) to provide equal access to educational resources in all of its schools, and the increases that have been made with regards to graduation rates here in Florida, children attending schools located in low-income high crime neighborhoods continue to face many obstacles which hinder their successful transition through the educational system and into the workplace. POPS is dedicated to building Character in Teens to Believe and Succeed. Working with students as early as 9th grade POPS endeavors to aggressively support students to become college and workplace ready by the time they graduate High School. Our goal is to ensure that students participating in POPS realize their fullest potential upon High School graduation, thereby gaining economic stability and social mobility. POPS has a long legacy of successfully assisting teens to succeed and believe. POPS believes in the power of collaboration; we work with community-based programs, partners and local businesses, government, civic and other charitable entities who are similarly engaged in helping our youth to earn “first work experience”, attend college tours, participate in weekly mentoring sessions, monthly workshops, cultural and civic experiences which are geared to enhance specific skills necessary to overcome the obstacles they face daily. Our success lies in these collaborative measures with outside groups, parents, local government, the school district, local businesses all focused on helping our POPS youth of today make better contributing citizens of tomorrow.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments Judith Mitchell  is the current CEO and Walter Hawkins in the Chairman of the Board
NTEE Information
Primary Organization Type Youth Development
Primary Organization SubType Youth Development Programs
Secondary Organization Type Employment
Secondary Organiztion SubType Employment Preparation & Procurement
Tertiary Organization Type Education
Tertiary Organization SubType Educational Services
Areas Served
Geographic Areas Served
FL - Orange

POPS currently serves at-risk students 9-12 grades attending Orange County High Schools 



HelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact. POPS strives to provide at-risk high school students with the knowledge, experience and support necessary to complete high school, pursue a post-secondary experience and find gainful employment upon graduation.

The POPS program strategically impacts the lives of our students by preparing them to transition through high school and prepare for long-term success by focusing on three program areas of personal and professional development:

Character and Leadership Development

POPS provides a series of evidence based character and leadership workshops to increase students resilience and reduce students’ at-risk factors. These workshops include topics on respect, honesty, and responsibility.

Professional Development

Youth who miss out on early work experience often struggle finding employment and moving into the work force. POPS provides a 7 week paid internship program for students, providing exposure and hands-on experience about the requirements of today’s competitive job market.

College Readiness

Each year our students visit a group of colleges and universities throughout Florida. The tour familiarizes students with campus life, providing a tour of classrooms, dormitories, the library and the technology center.

Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. According to the Florida Department of Education, an estimated 25% of eligible senior students will not graduate from high school each year. A disproportionate number of these students are from low-income families. Our program provides the tools and mentoring relationships needed to support students from low-income families throughout their high school years. We focus on reducing at-risk behaviors while increasing our students’ resilience. Students’ lives change when they replace their at-risk behaviors with positive behaviors.

Short-term Success:

• A positive shift in a student’s at-risk behavior by attending our character and leadership workshops -

higher attendance rates and fewer suspensions.

• An increase in high school graduation rate with 98 % experiencing on-time graduation

• Increase in the understanding between education and access to long-term gainful employment

• 85% of students are successfully admitted into a post-secondary institution or vocational training institute, or the military   
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

POPS students currently graduate from high school at a rate of 98%; 10-15 % higher than the graduation rate for the 5 high schools we serve. Highlights from a recent post HS graduation survey conducted by POPS with 115 students responding are as follows; 59% graduated in 2014 or later; the students spent a average of 2-3 years in POPS;83% attended a college tour, 66% with POPS; 60% reported that the college tour changed their mind about attending college; 65% applied to a school they visited on a POPS college tour; 71% got accepted to the first college of their choice and 94% report they are still enrolled full time in college. College tours work.  It exposes students to the possibility that they too can achieve a college degree especially when they see other students like themselves on campus.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

POPS measures success by the following:

· Student observation – Our Program Assistants (PA) meet weekly with our students. This close level of observation allows for the PA to keep a critical eye on the activities of the students and monitor their progress in the program.

· Student academic record – We require each student to maintain a 2.0 GPA with no unexcused absences or behavior issues. Students submit progress reports and report cards to the PA each semester.

· Internship evaluation by employee partners- Each employer completes an evaluation form when the students complete their internships.

Goals and objective are clearly defined for each workshop and for the overall program.  Pre and post surveys are then designed for each workshop in order to evaluate if the outcomes are being met by the students.  Once the evaluations are tallied and reviewed adjustments can be made to future content as needed to help insure achievement of goals.
POPS also currently use a pre and post survey from the Search Institute to  measure the impact of the program activities on students academic and social interactions.  This information give information on how our student feel about them selves their self worth and their social interaction.
Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Terrance struggled during the first two years of High School.  His family was forced to move several times and his mom worked long hours. A good student in middle school, Terrance found the workload much more difficult during his high school - and he struggled. He hoped to be the first in his family to go to college, but lacked support and direction. Terrance knew he needed help and different skills to succeed in life, and he felt he would not gain them in a classroom. He knew he needed extra help. A counselor at Evans High School suggested that Terrance join POPS.  He did and his life changed forever. Today, Terrance is a successful Junior at the University of Central Florida. He plans to receive his bachelor’s degree with the same determination and drive he developed during his years in the POPS program. 

CEO Comments

Board Chair
Board Chair Walter Hawkins
Company Affiliation City of Orlando
Term Jan 2001 to Dec 2017
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Teresa Arthur
Company Affiliation Tupperware Brands
Term Start 2015 2017
Board Members
NameCompany AffiliationsStatusCertificate*
Teresa Arthur Tupperware USAVotingNo
Kimberly Brown Tupperware BrandsVotingNo
Jessica Burns RL BurnsVotingNo
Samuel Davis Lake Apopka Natural Gas DistrictVotingNo
Keith Farmer Community VolunteerNo
Walter Hawkins City of OrlandoVotingNo
Corey Lamb O-CartVotingNo
Mark Lewis R L BurnsVotingNo
Ghenet Sequar Sky High GourmetVotingNo
Heather Trick Jordan LawVotingNo
*This individual has been awarded a Certificate in Orientation to Board Service by the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College,
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Other (if specified) 0
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Standing Committees
Standing Committees
Committee Name
Board Development / Board Orientation
Program / Program Planning
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments

The board is currently involved in developing a strategic plan with an outside consultant

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Judith E Mitchell CEO
Term Start Jan 2016

Judith Mitchell is the POPS CEO/President. Since January 2016, she has brought her passion to uplift communities and decades of nonprofit experience to amplify the organization’s mission.

In addition to having worked for three of the largest national nonprofit health organizations; American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Mitchell has also had success as an entrepreneur having owned 2 businesses and managed a for-profit surgi-center.

After graduating from Tufts University, Mitchell joined the American Cancer Society (ACS) as a Program Director in the Dade County Unit, where she was responsible for bringing lifesaving information about cancer to the African American community. Her experience led to several leadership roles including Unit Executive Director and being selected as one of 7 National Representatives for the Southern Area Office of the ACS. In this role she traveled to 14 southeastern states in various capacities working with Division Staff to expand their cancer education programs throughout the states. Her role was expanded to include 26 of the 50 states including Puerto Rico, and later she became a Vice President of Operations, and soon after, an Executive Vice President. Mitchell has the distinction of being named the first African American to hold the esteemed position of Executive Vice President for one of the 50 American Cancer Society Divisions.

After taking a brief sabbatical from the nonprofit world to open her own business providing professional services to homeowners, her fundraising and outreach talents were summoned by the American Heart Association (AHA) where she was recruited to lead the organization’s premier fundraising event- the Heart of Gold Ball, raising nearly $300,000 annually. In 2004 Mitchell was recruited by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to open the Nevada Chapter in Las Vegas, serving as the Executive Director. With a life dedicated to the nonprofit sector, Mitchell has the unique combination of both executive leadership capabilities and proven fundraising success. Her integrity, creativity, and hard work has helped change the lives of thousands throughout the country.

CEO Salary Range N/A
Former CEOs
Former CEOs
Barbara Newton Sept 2011July 2015
Monica Spires Aug 2010Aug 2011
Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 25
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 50%
Senior Staff
Title Program Manager

The most significant collaboration in each community we serve is the County School Districts. The principals and support staff (vice principals, guidance counselors and teachers) of each high schools we serve, play an essential role in ensuring that POPS has access to the students and resources required to deliver the program effectively. Each school provides a designated workspace for the district manager and students to meet, during the day, either during lunch or study hall periods to discuss program activities. This differs from other community support programs that offer services after school and in remote locations. This relationship allows the district manager to meet with the students more frequently, significantly increasing student participation.

A second important collaboration revolves around our summer internship program. Each year, POPS partners with employers throughout the state to provide an opportunity for students to intern for five weeks. Although POPS provides the funds for paying the students, the business partners provide a professional mentor. The mentor shares their professional path and what it takes each day to remain successful. The experience provides insight into the relationship between education, employment and greater earning potential.

State Registration Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Month Mar
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Year 2017
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2016
Form 990s
2016Form 990
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$204,496$518,399$5,140,004
Individual Contributions$91,431$44,755$61,253
Investment Income, Net of Losses$2,721$3,540$498
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$44,696$748$10,099
Revenue In-Kind$144$62,608$1,178
Expense Allocations
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$1,450,751$2,274,219$1,736,309
Administration Expense$392,591$416,130$375,526
Fundraising Expense$20,715$25,138$85,531
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.190.232.37
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%84%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%4%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$1,160,847$2,677,084$4,777,943
Current Assets$1,124,521$2,625,027$4,701,009
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$100,566$98,170$116,413
Total Net Assets$1,060,281$578,914$4,661,530
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Government Unspecified $518,399Government $5,140,004
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --In-Kind $62,608Individuals, Foundations and Corporations $61,253
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Individuals $44,755Special Events $10,099
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities11.1826.7440.38
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
CEO Comments

2017 will mark 16 years of providing services for high school youth in Central Florida. Since its inception, POPS has been part of the community’s effort in closing the achievement gap and increasing the minority graduation rate in the schools we serve. Our metrics show that our students graduate at a rate 10-15 percent higher than their minority peers. I am honored to serve as the new CEO of the POPS organization. 

We live in a world where the next generation of professionals must be ready to meet the demands of employers, and compete in a marketplace shaped by new technology and globalization. We are focused on ensuring our students can meet that challenge.

As the new CEO, I will be focused on raising the resources necessary to ensure the highest level of program services is provided. This will include working with existing funders, while forging new relationships in the community. Together, our board and staff will work to diversify funding and bring new investors to the cause. In addition, our board will increase its level of training, ensuring a highly skilled board fully capable of supporting our efforts. 

Foundation Comments
Financial figures taken from IRS form 990s. 
Contributions from foundations and corporations are included with total for individuals as they were not separated on the 990.
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Notes Programs listed here are those that are only activated during a disaster. Some organizations have unified budgeting and do not budget by program. Because of this, some budget fields may be blank or represent an approximation. Organization describes previous experience during the immediate response, recovery or rebuilding phases following a disaster.
Nonprofit Professional Opportunities Program for Students Inc.
Address 4401 Vineland Road
Suite A-10
Orlando, FL 32811
Primary Phone (407) 843-1202
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Judith E Mitchell CEO
Board Chair Walter Hawkins
Board Chair Company Affiliation City of Orlando
Year of Incorporation 2001