Our Story

Rise Together is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Appleton, WI.

Our mantra: The Future is Youth.

This is why we ensure that donations are spent directly on our youth based programs--making sure we maximize efforts that reach youth.

Since 2013, we have educated more than 150,000 young people. We need your support to reach communities in need of our service -- we’re estimating Rise Together will educate over 50,000 young people in the upcoming 2017-2018 school year alone.



RISE TOGETHER has ignited a youth-led movement that is helping to SAVE LIVES.  Our solution is to provide communities with HIGH-QUALITY educational content, programs, workshops, and training that help build strong advocates and leaders.

Today, our cause is led by a team of dedicated professionals, all of whom have diverse backgrounds, educations, and skill sets. Alongside a national advisory board, RISE TOGETHER is working closely with communities to:

IDENTIFY youth issues through a unique student research approach
PROVIDE resources, mentoring, and support.
INSPIRE youth to ask for help for the very first time
MOTIVATE others to take action and live a “cool healthier lifestyle”

Together, we have a vision to create a community where youth can be loved,heard, and inspired to live in hope. THE FUTURE IS YOUTH.


RISE TOGETHER was founded in 2013 by nationally recognized storytellers, Anthony Alvarado and Douglas Darby. In 4 short years, our team has traveled over ​250,000+ miles​, taken the stage over ​250+ times​, partnered with over ​150 schools, and educated more than 150,000 people​. We have been ​recognized as top national speakers​ by the National Safety Council and our life saving work has even been recognized by the ​White House​ Office of the National Drug Control Policy, featured in over ​100 news media stories​, and our youth research was also featured by the ​Federal Bureau of Investigation​. With recommendations by U.S. senators, legislators, teachers, and thousands of students across the nation; RISE TOGETHER aims to change the world!

"Rise Together is starting a youth-led movement through the power of HOPE" - FORBES


RISE TOGETHER is creating a movement of young people by encouraging students to stand up and speak out on the issues they care most about: breaking the silence around suicide, bullying, mental illness, drugs, and alcohol. We EDUCATE, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER youth primarily through storytelling. 

With powerful, professionally trained speakers who have a goal of connecting with students, RISE TOGETHER has:

  • Inspired youth to ask for help for the very first time and provided on time resources, mentoring and support.
  • Identified the issues facing today’s youth, and created brief intervention models that help youth stay on track.
  • Delivered guidance to local stakeholders that empowers resources and supports.
  • Provided a positive message that motivates others to take action.
  • Modeled that it is “cool to live a drug free lifestyle.”

We primarily educate youth between the ages of 10-18 years old and works with Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, and in other public settings with a purpose to help youth overcome the challenges they face and live a happy and healthier life. 


RISE TOGETHER focuses on community level change by implementing unique strategies based on local needs determined by community assessments, surveys, collecting feedback, and evaluating efforts. Since 2014, Rise Together has surveyed more than 7,000 students across  53+ counties. RISE TOGETHER has collected more than 3,000 testimonies from youth and people who care about them that demonstrate the life saving impact of our programs.

Research from Rise Together’s educational school-based speaking program has shown that after their program students are:

  • 61% more likely to get involved in the community.
  • 82% more likely to follow their dreams & goals
  • 80% less likely to use drugs & alcohol.
  • In a 2017 study of 2064 students conducted by UW Madison Continuing Ed, WI Voices of Recovery in collaboration with RISE TOGETHER, nearly 25% identified that peer support would help them in their recovery.

To learn more, download Rise Together's Program Guide or contact us: 920.659.0747 or email risetogether@weallrisetogether.com

"I thought that all of your stories were so inspirational. I like how you weren’t just saying “drugs are bad, don’t do them.” You told your story and how you were able to change your lives." – High School Student

"I’ve been to a lot of assemblies in my teaching career. This one was, perhaps, the most powerful." – Teacher

"The Rise Together program was very inspiring. I like how they shared some of
their own stories that happened in their life. It made me feel good about my
struggles and know that I am not alone."
– Middle School Student


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