RISE has two main programs currently running. Our Scholarship Program gives motivated students displaying leadership potential who have been accepted to a private or parochial high school financial support as well as a mentor. Our Mentoring Program matches healthy adults with children aged 7 through high school and supports their consistent monthly engagement through cultural and recreational group activities.RISE staff support relationships between the children we work with and their mentors, schools, and families. We work to provide information about additional community supports available beyond the scope of what RISE can provide. RISE has also created opportunities such as tutoring, SAT preparation, Saturday Enrichment activities, and Summer Programs.
In the United States one in twenty-eight children has a parent in prison, yet this group remains hidden, with few services available to address their specific needs. While it is tempting to classify children of incarcerated parents in the same category as others receiving social services, they are different. They are more vulnerable.
Children of incarcerated parents are 6 times more likely to enter the criminal justice system, struggle for mental and physical health, be exposed to violence and addiction, live in poverty, and drop out of high school. We commit to empower these most vulnerable members of our community and undo the legacy that too often entraps them. We believe education is the protective factor that opens doors for a self-determined life. Our work is about building and providing access to the intellectual, social and emotional supports young people need to thrive, particularly children born into risky circumstances beyond their control. RISE does not do this work alone. A dedicated staff and board, a dozen schools, over 100 mentors, families, community partnerships, sponsors and committed contributors all come together to put their arms around RISE children. Together we create a noble village willing to take in and support vulnerable kids who deserve to be the best they can be.
RISE creates educational opportunities for children whose mother or father, sometimes both, have been or are currently incarcerated. Our Scholarship Program gives 8th graders needed financial support to attend private or parochial schools. There is an annual application process that begins in February of each year. Students who are awarded a scholarship receive $4,000 a year for 4 years of tuition support as well as annual stipends for uniforms and books as needed. RISE scholarship students are also supported by Mentors who increase access to educational experiences through community ventures and who model healthy adulthood and provide encouragement.Our scholarships are primarily supported by one-on–one Sponsors who adopt a student for four years of high school, pay their $4,000 annual scholarship, and receive regular updates on the progress of their sponsored student. In some cases, sponsors also choose to mentor their student, although this is not required. For people who wish to help but are unable to take on such a commitment, we have a Scholarship Fund that is built with one time donations ranging from $1 to $5000. This fund helps us cover students without Sponsors as well as provide books and uniforms for students who need this additional support.