WHAT IS THE RAISE PROJECT?
For the last five years, RISE TOGETHER has informed, encouraged, and inspired youth through storytelling to be active participants in identifying and solving the problems in their schools, homes, and broader communities. The RAISE Project is the logical progression to that work. After analyzing the surveys of thousands of youth and reviewing the research and best practice recommendations of evidence-based programs around the country, RISE TOGETHER has developed the comprehensive youth leadership and advocacy, The RAISE Project.
Built on the foundational principles of gratitude, community, and self-care, The RAISE Project is a project-driven youth program designed to transform the culture in schools, communities, and individuals. RAISEyouth will strengthen leadership skills, challenge the harmful effects of stigma, and combat the risk factors that perpetuate unhealthy choices by using evidence-based strategies as they engage in change projects that will fundamentally shift the culture of their schools and communities.
WHO ARE RAISEyouth?
Whether or not you belong to preexisting prevention or youth empowerment groups, or you are forming a club solely to do The RAISE Project, RAISEyouth believes that, if given the right tools, it is possible to make positive changes in their schools and communities.
RAISEyouth seeks to be open-minded and offer their assistance without passing judgment or casting shame. They are willing to face new challenges, learn new skills. They do not shy away from the opportunity to share potentially life-changing knowledge or a day-changing smile with others.
WHAT ARE THE RAISEprogram FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES?
The RAISE Project was created out of the fundamental principles of gratitude, community, and self-care. These three concepts mean something a little different to everybody, and we encourage RAISEyouth to see each of these principles through the lens of their experiences in life so far. Hold the spirit of these principles in your heart as you embark on this adventure. Doing so will only enhance your time as RAISEyouth, and the difference will be seen through the results you get in the end! Take the time to revisit these principles every time you meet. (We’ll offer some ideas in the next section!)
Gratitude is – At the center of any work, seeking to invoke positive change, there must be a deep appreciation of the blessing we already have. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, express more compassion and kindness, and even sleep better.
Community is – Honoring all voices and seeking to bring together people from all walks of life and backgrounds without shame or judgment.
Self-care is – Understanding that we cannot with any true sincerity offer to others that which we have not accepted for ourselves. We can’t take care of our community if we don’t take care of ourselves.
WHAT WE DO IN OUR MEETINGS
So you’ve had a RISE TOGETHER presentation at your school, or you’ve been inspired by a story you’ve seen on our social media/website, and you’re ready to start The RAISE Project. But what do you do? The suggestions in this section are just that, suggestion. The way you run your meetings is ultimately up to you.
THE RAISE PROJECT MEETING OUTLINE
THE PERSONAL CHECK-IN
- One thing you are grateful happened in the past week
- One thing in your community/school/home that inspired you in the last week (i.e., an act of
kindness or compassion)
- One thing you’re doing to take care of yourself
THE PROJECT CHECK-IN
- Task accomplished
- Obstacles past and future
- Receive feedback
- Action items
INSPIRATION TO LEAVE
At the end of each meeting, have somebody share an inspirational video, poem, or short story. (Make sure you assign a new person every week)