RISE is an academic support and college preparation program for low-income residents of West and South Berkeley who currently attend Berkeley High School. We are funded through the City of Berkeley. Our goal is to help students graduate on time and encourage them to pursue higher education. We achieve these goals by reducing outside barriers that interfere with personal and academic wellness through our summer bridge program, after-school tutorial program, counseling component and enrichment activities.
Our summer bridge program is a five-week transition program for incoming ninth graders. The purpose of the bridge program is to strengthen Mathematics and English abilities and build enduring positive relations among students and RISE staff. The first week consist of a camping trip in which students participate in team and character building activities, informational workshops and produce a talent show. The proceeding weeks involve intensive Mathematics and English classes, guest speakers, workshops, Q&A panel of current/former Berkeley High students and an introduction to BHS graduation and college admission requirements.
The after school tutorial component of our program takes place at Berkeley High School.
Our tutorial hours are as follows: Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 8:30am and Monday through Thursday 3:30pm to 5pm. Students in our tutorial are placed according to grade level. Academic mentors are current university students and vary in academic focus. Our goals are homework assistance, test preparation and reading comprehension improvement. In addition to the academic aspect of our tutorial, we also hold youth groups that vary in discussion topic. We also support the students submit applications for college and scholarships, and provide encouragement to participate in other educational and academic programs such as computer coding camps, global environmental recovery programs, and more.
Every year, during the second semester, all juniors who have completed the R.I.S.E requirements for college preparation are eligible to participate in visits to select colleges and universities. The students visit as many California institutes of higher education as possible which include guided tours, meetings with professors and students, and having some fun in town to get to know the community.
Each student entering the RISE program is assigned a RISE counselor. Counselors meet with students twice a month to discuss academic success, anger management, post graduation goals and assists with personal/family concerns. Each counselor encourages and helps students become active learners and self advocates. Counselors promote community involvement through active participation as advisors to student clubs. In addition, RISE counselors help students with employment support such as resume completion, job searches, summer internships. The case management services also include to provide legal, translation, mental health, and other social resources through R.I.S.E. and other social service agencies.
Fishing trip with the SF Police Department
RISE believes that diligent students should be rewarded with field trips and activities that allow them to relax and build positive friendships with their peers and with our RISE staff. Past trips have included: lunch or dinner, movies, arcades, bowling, college tours, ethnic studies conferences, dragon boat classes, water rafting, deep sea fishing, camping, Great America and SixFlags Marine World and Lake Tahoe. These activities are often first time experiences for our youth and gives them experiences outside of their immediate neighborhoods, and designed to be fun and broaden their world-view.
Provides youth with support for positive self identity and healthy lifestyles through ancient cultural teachings. The activities include dancing, drumming, singing, Nahuatl language and exchanges with other indigenous youth nationally and internationally.
We encourage and support students to become involved in community service programs to become active in addressing the social issues which affect their lives and their ability to remain in school. This community service encourages thoughtfulness, engagement, and direct experience to manifest their leadership within a real-life context.