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 50 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/RISE Club give youth an opportunity to participate in sports, life skills and leadership class, community service, school-based or other activities. These are a protective factor for youth school success, and help youth to develop social competencies, academic mindsets, positive peer and adult relationships and positive identity. Youth can participate in weekly groups at SUN community schools (HB Lee and Reynolds). Advocates play a critical role in encouraging youth to join in activities and supporting their continued participation.
  • Advocacy/Case Management at least twice-weekly: case management, problem solving and on-site school support. Advocacy provides youth with a focused means of addressing barriers that can impede academic attainment.
  • Academic support after-school by linking to after-school academic supports through SUN community schools, with support from the Advocates, to directly increase skill levels and support completion of grade levels.

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