Our Story


RISE TOGETHER, a 501c3 non-profit, was founded in 2013 by nationally recognized storytellers, Anthony Alvarado, Douglas Darby, and Nadine Machkovech. Together, they had a goal: to help save at least one life.

RISE TOGETHER exists to ignite a youth-led movement that is helping to SAVE LIVES 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. RISE TOGETHER aims to EDUCATE, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER youth primarily through storytelling.

Its solution is to provide communities with HIGH-QUALITY educational content, programs, workshops, and training that help build strong advocates and leaders.


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

  • IDENTIFYyouth issues through a unique student research approach
  • PROVIDEresources, mentoring, and support.
  • INSPIREyouth to ask for help for the very first time
  • MOTIVATE others to take action and live a “cool healthier lifestyle”


RISE TOGETHER focuses on community-level change by implementing unique strategies based on local needs determined by community assessments, surveys, 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 lifesaving impact of its programs. RISE TOGETHER’s youth research was featured by the ​Federal Bureau of Investigation​; with recommendations by U.S. senators, legislators, teachers, and thousands of students.

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.


RISE TOGETHER’s mission has not gone unnoticed. In just five years, the 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​. RISE TOGETHER’s life-saving work has been recognized by the White House​ Office of the National Drug Control Policy, and featured in countless news outlets such as Forbes, Huff Post, USA Today, NPR, PBS, NBC, ABC, CW14, FOX.

RISE TOGETHER has created a community where youth can be loved, heard, and inspired to live with hope.



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



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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