Rockwood Intercultural Student Experience and Rockwood Youth Violence Prevention Initiative


The Rockwood Intercultural Student Experience (RISE) launched in 2013. RISE is part of the Rockwood Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (RYVPI), which helps middle-school aged youth in Rockwood achieve school success and positive community engagement. Engaging youth before they enter high school, RISE addresses the root causes of disengagement and provides students the supports that lead to successfully completing school and continuing on to further education and employment. As a program of the Center for Family Success, RISE enables a wrap-around family support model in which both youth and parents can easily access needed supports.

RISE serves more than 100 middle school youth identified as experiencing chronic school absenteeism risk for violence per year. All youth engage in:

  • Navigation Assistance to access needed services both through Pathfinders/RISE and partnering providers. Staff work with youth in an ongoing way to ensure that the youth is able to complete the services and to increase school success.
  • Pro-Social Activities, such as sports, life skills and leadership class, improvisational acting (improv), art, community service, and other activities. These act as a protective factor to support youth success.

More intensive services are offered to 30 youth who have been identified as experiencing the most risk factors or otherwise needing additional supports. Core services provided by Pathfinders include:

  • Advocacy at least twice-weekly: case management, problem solving and on-site school support. Advocacy provides youth with a focused means of addressing barriers to can impede academic attainment.
  • Academic support after-school at the RISE House or through partners, to directly increase skill levels and support completion of grade levels.
  • Weekly Group Activities. Youth and/or family activities such as open gym, art performance, or family dinner to support youth success.

RISE staff recently sat down for an interview with MetroEast Community Media’s television show Community Hotline: