Starting A Youth-Led Movement Through The Power Of Hope
FORBES – “Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States, and the third-leading cause of death among individuals ages 10 to 24 years old. But because of the many misconceptions about youth and the challenges they face, there isn’t always an outlet for kids to share their stories or learn how to get help.
That’s just the problem Rise Together, a social impact organization based out of Appleton, Wisconsin, hoped to solve.
The Road to Rise Together
Rise Together was founded in 2013 when three friends, Anthony Alvarado, Douglas Darby and Nadine Machkovech, realized that mental health, suicide and addiction were ravaging their community and group of friends.
Alvarado shares he was at a critical point in his recovery from addiction, Darby had just gotten out of prison, and Machkovech had recently decided to get sober before turning 21 years old. According to Alvarado, “We were sick and tired of losing our friends and family members because of these issues.”
That September, the three friends started sharing their stories “to anyone who would listen,” whether that be at a rally, prison or parking lot. It was this journey of sharing their stories that ignited the passion of spreading hope to youth.
Alvarado says the team knew Rise Together’s greatest opportunity would be to impact youth when they started engaging with kids and connecting with their stories. “We saw our younger selves in them,” he explains. “If there was a moment we all could have changed in our lives, it would have been to ask for help at a younger age.”