Operation Progress or “OP” is a holistic/comprehensive mentoring and scholarship program originally founded by LAPD officers. The program has expanded to become a partnership consisting of OP, local Catholic schools, scholarship providers and the LAPD. OP will now provide wraparound support guiding Scholars from elementary and high school through college graduation.
The pillars are the five essential elements of Scholar success: Academics, Health & Wellness, Life Skills, Service, and Support & Safety. Each pillar is reinforced through extensive programming provided by OP staff and mentors, volunteers and our partners.
OP welcomes support from foundation and general public for our scholars. Currently, major funding is provided by the Caruso Family Foundation, Janet Crown and Steve Robinson.
Any student currently in 2nd or 3rd grade in the Watts’ area community may apply to become an OP Scholar. Application season is usually January-March.
Current 2nd or 3rd grade students may apply to the OP program.
The OP staff, advisory board and LAPD officer mentors will review all applications and submit finalists to the OP Board of Directors for consideration. OP accepts an additional 15-20 students every year. Accepted Scholars are notified in April.
Scholars receive a scholarship and admissions assistance to attend the appropriate partner school. The Advisory Board and OP Staff customizes the best mentorship program for each Scholar based on the 5 Pillars of Success that include extensive tutoring, mentoring, skills-building, and personal development.
Our anchor schools are St. Lawrence of Brindisi (K-8, co-ed), San Miguel Catholic School (K-8, co-ed), Verbum Dei High School (boys), and St. Mary’s Academy High School (girls).
OP Scholars must be highly motivated and maintain good, positive behavior. Each Scholar and their parent(s) and/or caregiver must sign pledge agreements to comply with the OP program’s standards as well as those set forth by the Scholar’s school. This includes maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA.
LAPD officers founded Operation Progress more than 15 years ago. Today, a number of Southeast Division LAPD officers continue to volunteer personal time and resources as mentors. Officers also work with the Advisory Board to help identify new Scholars and guide them through the ecosystem.
South Central Scholars (SCS), an OP partner organization, has a 15-year track record of supporting more than 800 college scholars. OP Scholars can transition into the SCS program to receive college admissions and financial aid assistance, intensive college academic preparation, and ongoing mentorship through all four years of college.
Each year, the OP Board of Directors and the Advisory Board will evaluate how best to serve our Scholars, including the potential of adding additional partners.
Success is measured one Scholar at a time. The ecosystem will constantly evaluate our programs and processes to ensure we are providing the best programs and services to our Scholars. At the end of each school year, we will evaluate all aspects of each Scholar’s achievements through the lens of the 5 Pillars of Success. Evaluations include both quantitative and qualitative measures.