Meet the leaders who are stepping up and making a difference in their community.
of the young people who take part in our programs are going on to further their education in college or trade schools and are focused on careers in STEM-related fields.
Ana was born in the Dominican Republic and lived in Inwood, a section of Manhattan, until 1974, when she discovered the Rockaways. You can see the city's skyline from her home. "No one believes me," she says.
Ana discovered RISE (Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability & Equity) through her daughter, who knows the executive director/founder, Jeanne DuPont. "There is always something to do with RISE."
Marco has been with RISE since 2019, finding a place to connect and converse with students outside of his school and with adults with whom he can confide. The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on his mental health more so than his grades, and you can find out what kept him going when you click on the recording.
Shamika is a Rockaway resident and has been a volunteer at RISE Farm Share, where she works with other members of the community to distribute healthy fresh produce and food.
As a mother of eight children, she has enrolled her kids in RISE's summer and afterschool programs where she has seen the benefits they have given her family.
Shamika has played a critical role in her work with RISE, as an advocate for the local neighborhood to help support civic engagement and healthy living in the Rockaways.
"The personal is political, and the political is personal," says Stephanie, director of operations and communications at RISE. She joined the organization because it is "on the ground," doing the work that needs to be done in our little corner of the world. Click on her recording to get a glimpse and hear a little more about RISE.