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Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission School of Unlimited Learning celebrated 25 years of changing student’s lives.

On April 5, 2024, students, staff, and leaders gathered to honor this milestone for the Downtown Fresno School. SOUL was established in 1998 by Fresno Unified, making it the longest-running charter school in Fresno County.

The school was also recognized with a proclamation from the City of Fresno designating April 5th as SOUL Learning Day.

One student, even recited a poem that was written by fellow student, who wanted to stay anonymous, the poem is below.

“In the heart of the city, amidst the bustle and the noise, Stood a place of learning, a haven for girls and boys.

SOUL it was named, a beacon of light, where young minds were nurtured, where futures took flight.

In the halls of SOUL, where knowledge soared high, I found a path to growth, to reach for the sky.

Independent studies, a key to unlock the potential within me, the ticking of the clock.

With guidance and freedom, I delved deep within, exploring new horizons, letting my journey begin.

No rigid constrains, no limits to hold. Just my thirst for knowledge, a story yet untold.

“In the quiet of the classroom, with books as my guide. I delved into subjects with passion as my tide.

History and art, science and more, each study a treasure, to my heart it did pour.

Through independent studies, I found my own pace. Learning at my rhythm, embracing the grace,

To delve into topics, to question, to seek. To find my own voice, to be bold, not meek.

And as the seasons passed, and knowledge grew, I found a sense of self, a purpose anew.

SOUL, a place of transformation, Where Independent Study sparked revelation.

So, here’s to SOUL, to its teachers, staff, and its halls, Where Independent Study has answered my calls.

A school like no other, a place of true gold, SOUL where dreams and truths unfold.” -Anonymous SOUL Student

Several staff members have been with the school since its inception. The principal shared that the connections formed with students and families serve as a source of motivation and inspiration for everyone at SOUL.

“You get so much satisfaction from helping students see their potential because they don’t always see it. Once we show them what they can do, we provide them with the tools to reach their goals, and that, in turn, benefits the whole family,” said Susan Lopez, SOUL Principal and Chief Academic Officer.

This achievement was celebrated by many, including students and families who expressed gratitude for finding a welcoming environment, support, and resources within the school’s walls.

Across the way staff, students, and community members explored resources available along with food and music.

SOUL offers academic instruction, social and emotional support, and provides necessities through its student pantry. Many students and their families also benefit from services provided by Fresno EOC.

The school offers both independent study and classroom-based learning at its site, providing flexible options for students who may require additional support or prefer a smaller learning environment.

The primary focus of SOUL is to offer a comprehensive and fully accredited learning experience to the youth of Fresno, currently serving more than 200 students.

Over the past 25 years, SOUL has enabled over 1,100 students to earn diplomas, significantly impacting and transforming lives within the community.

To see more photos from SOUL’s celebration scroll below.

SOUL will be offering summer school classes to all current students, running from June 10th through the 28th, and students should contact Ms. Lomelino while they are on campus to sign up.


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