Tree of Life: Rosemary Anderson

Tree of Life: Rosemary Anderson

St. Philip’s Tree of Life is our effort to give back to organizations that benefit our community, a commitment we made as a part of our 2019 Annual Budget. Not only do we experience God’s love in and through our parish, we recognize that God’s love is all around us, through organizations and ministries that care for all of God’s creation. Each one of these organizations is close to the heart of someone in our church family, and is supported by our community.

Rosemary Anderson High School

In 1964, The Reverend Leon Sullivan developed the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) model designed to address African-American adult unemployment in Philadelphia, PA. OIC took individuals with little hope and few prospects and offered them job training, instruction in life skills, and job placement. The movement quickly spread and became over sixty affiliated programs in thirty states and the District of Columbia.

Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) was founded in 1967 as a not-for-profit education management organization and was established as part of a national network of community-based OIC centers focused on training under-educated and unemployed minority adults. In 1983, recognizing that intervention was needed at an earlier age and responding to demands for quality alternative education to accommodate disadvantaged youth who were failing in the public school system, Portland OIC developed an academic high school, directed by Mrs. Rosemary Anderson and Dr. Sam Kelly for youth in high-risk family situations.

Re-named after its founder, today Rosemary Anderson High School (RAHS) is a private, non-profit, community-based, alternative, accredited high school. RAHS offers a full range of core curriculum courses required for the High School Diploma and GED. Additionally, wrap-around services are provided in the form of the Community Healing Initiative (CHI), Work Opportunity Training (WOT), and Gang Outreach. There are now four locations which offer a shared syllabus and program design for 700 students. The graduation rate is 90%. In order to strengthen its core values, Portland OIC designed an Equity Policy with an emphasis on race. The Racial Equity Plan provides strategies to remove barriers in policies, programs and practices that impede the identification of race as the primary cause of the disparities faced by youth of color. RAHS is committed to the future success of at-risk youth through the age of 25 by providing the highest quality services in education, mentoring, family outreach, employment training and placement.