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“When I first came to Chavez, math was one of my top struggles. I wasn’t quite sure if I’d ever make it to the next grade level when it came to math. However, RISE-DC tutors helped me to understand math on a broader level, and I will be graduating in June and attending my dream college.”

Brianne, a Chavez student who graduated in 2011

Latest News from RISE-DC

College Acceptance Letters Are In!

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Members of our second cohort of the College Prep Program have accepted admission at the following colleges and universities: Temple University, The University of Arizona, North Carolina A&T, Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, Stevenson University, Coppin State and Allegany College of Maryland. This second cohort is an extremely motivated group of scholars. Let’s just hope they don’t get too homesick!

The third cohort, pictured above at the Morehouse-Spelman-Clark Atlanta campus in April, represents the Class of 2016. They just took the SAT in early June. We’re hopeful it will be for the last time!

Student Spotlight: Braswell at U of A

Braswell was salutatorian at Anacostia High School in 2015 and is a freshman at the University of Arizona. He became the first Anacostia student to go to college in Arizona since... we don’t know when.

He is part of only a 4% African-American population, but Braswell says it is “wonderful. Despite my race, we are all in the same boat, all here to get an education.”

So far the biggest challenge has been the lecture-style classes: “My psych class has 500 plus students, so it is hard to pay attention sometimes.” Braswell was largely self-motivated in high school, but he at first was just going to go to college in D.C. He says the RISE College Trip “really opened my eyes. We went to North Carolina and Florida; it was a whole different feeling, getting out of D.C.” Braswell says that after his education he would like to help run a movie production company, “but I look forward to coming back and giving back to my city.”

RISE-DC Returns to Maya Angelou

After a six year absence, RISE-DC is returning to the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, where RISE-DC served from 2001-07. I am seen here with Maya’s director of instruction, Mario Jackson. RISE-DC will be working with Maya’s Young Adult Learning Center, on East Capitol Street in a state of the art campus built for older youth. All of these scholars are either trying to raise their math or reading skills in preparation for vocational training, or they are preparing for their General Educational Development (GED) exam. RISE-DC’s experienced instructors are an excellent fit for this partnership. Maya’s students are approximately 25% special education, and over 90% qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Graduate Services Takes Off

Pictured are RISE-DC’s Susan Laing with Brian Walker, Anacostia alum and now a participant in RISE-DC’s Step Up program, a division of RISE-DC’s Graduate Services. RISE-DC plans to raise the outlook for at least thirty of its high school alumni during this school year by putting them on track for livable wage occupations. Prior to working with RISE-DC, Susan counseled for the I Have a Dream Foundation for more than 20 years. Brian is a budding stand up comic and has appeared on the RFD stage near Gallery Place.

College Mentoring Gets Better and Better

Susan Laing supervises a terrific group of college mentors. The first cohort of beneficiaries have, with one exception, survived their first semester of college. This student will hit the ‘reset’ button at a closer four-year college in January. Our second cohort, current seniors, are busy finalizing their applications. Our third cohort, juniors, have gotten to know their mentors since last spring. Despite our lack of a current agreement with Anacostia High School, RISE-DC expects to be able to recruit a fourth cohort, of tenth graders, this winter from Ward 8 high schools.