Rise Up Project
15th Avenue Christian Church, Rock Island, IL
The Rise Up Project is a program that recognizes the specific needs of juvenile court involved youth and provides an opportunity for them to develop positive connections with community resources and healthy interpersonal, enhanced workforce development, and positive lifestyle skills. In 2018, the program will be starting its 3rd year of implementation.
Program collaboration is with faith based organizations, public institutions, private sector entities, government bodies, and community volunteers. Participants explore post secondary opportunities and develop workforce skills and an understanding of how positive actions can result in providing a product for the larger community. The program is divided into four phases:
- Assistance with job application preparation and interviewing for a spot in the program
- Workforce skills preparation
- Workforce skills implementation
- Career development and college readiness.
The program has been administered in an eight week format starting in June and ending in July. It served 10-12 youth during each session over the past two years. Work incentives include a weekly stipend, contests, job bonuses, end of program awards for leadership / work performance, and reduced sentences. The youth are connected to resources and persons through the church and in the community to mentor them and/or assist with future employment goals. Urban gardening is used as an avenue to teach positive work force skills (i.e. punctuality, completing assigned tasks, working with co-workers / team leader, importance of good customer service). Weekly community tours are used to introduce the youth to volunteerism, post secondary education, and employment opportunities. The program is based out of our congregation, 15th Ave Christian Church, which connects the youth to spiritual support.
Mission Area: At-Risk Children and Youth
Catalyst Grant: US $5,000