RISE collected stories from across the Rockaway peninsula to document what happened in local neighborhoods affected by Superstorm Sandy and to build on a collaborative vision for future rebuilding efforts in the community.
RISE took on the documentary Rockaway Stories to capture lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy. The film was done to elevate local voices, especially those of the youth, and document progress made in rebuilding efforts.
As part of this project, young adults from RISE's urban planning program worked with professional writers, filmmakers, and photographers to collect written and visual interviews of residents, business owners, and city workers about their personal experiences before, during, and after the hurricane to assess what steps can be taken to make the Rockaway community more resilient to future storms.
On May 5, 2013, Rockaway Stories premiered in MoMA PS1 Dome in the Rockaways, giving the students, mentors and trainers on the project an opportunity to share it with the public.
Later that year, RISE students were invited to screen the film to Harvard University's Graduate Urban Planning Program & Loeb Fellows panel of experts focused on rebuilding and planning efforts in New York City.
Many of the students' written works were published in The Rockaways, a book published by Hamilton Fish and Concord Free Press about the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.