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Our Mission

RISE's mission is to level the educational playing field in Washington, D.C. RISE provides the same quality educational resources for low-income students, such as tutoring and college mentoring, that are available to students of means – free of charge. RISE believes that the greater the need of the student, the greater the expertise of the instruction and mentoring should be.


Our History

RISE was founded in 2003 by Paul Penniman, who left a lucrative tutoring business to provide services for the low-income youth of Washington, D.C. Since its founding, RISE has helped over 2.000 students to improve their academic performance or test scores. Since 2013, RISE has earned the distinction as "one of the best" non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C. area, according to the Catalogue for Philanthropy.


Our Vision and Impact

RISE aims to end the systemic racism that pervades our country's educational system and hopes to spread to several cities around the country. Many students have said they would be "on the streets" if not for RISE. RISE makes high school and college graduation possible for students who had no hope before they began working with RISE.


Our Budget

Annual Budget:

  • revenue, 2017-18: $285,000

  • $148,000 from individuals

  • $46,000 from foundations and corporations

  • $91,000 in-kind contributions

Administrative Expenses:

  • $31,000 (part-time bookkeeper, fundraising efforts, insurance, audit report, office supplies, etc.) or approximately 11% of total revenue

  • Approximately 89% of revenue goes directly to programs

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RISE-DC Delivers

“I enjoy working at RISE-DC because the people in RISE-DC are dedicated to supporting under served students in very small groups or one-on-one, and it has worked! There is a strong sense of respect for the young people being helped and the students feel it. The students are a joy. No matter what difficulties they have academically, they are willing to dedicate themselves to improving.”

— Garrett Phelan, past RISE-DC instructor


Above: Executive Director Paul Penniman with former RISE-DC student Al’landrew, who graduated in 2010 from Virginia Tech.