Well it has been quite some time since I last posted, I have been a little busy. Between May 19, 2020 (my last post) and now a lot has changed. In a nutshell, I took a leave without pay from my job and opened up a Not-for-Profit, virtual, alternative high school called R.I.S.E. (Reach Inspire Soar Empower) Academy and it has been quite the ride. Between September 2020 and today we moved from a very small team of me a student teacher a few part time staff and some volunteers to a team of Board of Directors, a Principal / Facilitator (me), two full time facilitators, one math / science specialist, two Social Work students, Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Manager, three student teachers, 5 + volunteers and soon to be 10 + student interns. Last year were were able to have youth accumulate 95 credits between September and July and this year we are projected to have youth accumulate 200 credits by the end of July.
The goal of R.I.S.E. is to provide students a learning experience that compliments their public school or homeschooling experience. We want to find ways to take the “system” out of learning and recognize, celebrate and utilize their individual passions, strengths and motivators. Below is a breakdown on how the program works.
Last year we partnered with Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI) and received our very first grant from the Ottawa Community Foundation. MHI exists to build affordable housing that helps fix Ottawa’s housing crisis and gets at-risk people into secure, safe homes. This first grant allowed us us to provide free programming to 18 youth in their neighbourhoods. Next we partnered with Rideau Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre where we received a grant from Ontario Teacher Insurance Plan, here we created a summer pilot Entrepreneurship program where we had 7 youth start businesses and work on a credit. Our partnership with MHI and RRCRC continued into this year where we once again received funding from Ottawa Community Foundation and more recently a grant from the Rideau Hall Foundation. In total we will be able to provide free programming to 100 youth between September 2021 and June 2023.
We are always working on new partnerships, stay tuned for our latest connections!!
Youth Services Bureau Interns
In the fall we connected with Youth Service Bureau where we were able to support at-risk youth by hiring young people to give them meaningful employment and learning experiences. We hired our first group of 4 interns in January and it has been amazing. These youth not only have meaningful employment at R.I.S.E., but those who are high school aged are also working on credits that go towards their O.S.S.D. So far we have a Video Editors, Social Media and Community Outreach workers and Blog writer.
Our blog writer intern has been working hard over the last few months to learn the ins and outs of blog writing and what R.I.S.E. is all about. Please stay tuned for some updates from her, she will be chronicling what has been going on.
Thanks for continuing to Unlearn With Us 🙂
Thank you to all our amazing partners below!!