Academic success is measured in an increase in test scores, and in students staying in school and ultimately graduating. In these areas, RISE-DC intervention has been successful. In the last academic year, over 200 students raised their grades or test scores and maintained that improvement after working with RISE-DC.

Student retention rates continue at a high level for those students whom RISE-DC tutors. Since the inception of its programs in 2003, 95% of students who received significant tutoring time or SAT instruction remain on track to graduate or have graduated from high school. This is remarkable, especially when compared to the overall rate of 50% for students in Ward 8.

Further, according to the National Youth Policy Forum, half of all high school dropouts are incarcerated by age 35. RISE-DC’s work has a direct impact on lowering the incarceration rates of our urban, low-income youth.

In the 2017-2018 academic year, our students have experienced success in the following key areas:


Keep Up / Village Watch

RISE continued its “Keep Up” and “Village Watch” program at Ballou. RISE also began a similar program at McKinley Tech. Altogether, over 200 students either raised their academic performance significantly or maintained at least a ‘B’ level of work.

AP Scholars Program

RISE's new Summer AP Teacher Mentoring Institute provided seven AP teachers at McKinley Tech with an experienced RISE mentor to help with lesson planning, assessments, resource planning, and scope and sequence.

College Prep Plus Program

The College Prep Plus program helps prepare students for college and follows them until they have earned 60 college credits. All fifteen students in the most recent cohort recently matriculated in college. Overall, 61% of the students in this program have either graduated from college or are on track to graduate within six years, four times the national average of 14% for low-income students who have matriculated.


RISE has also partnered with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) to provide a summer MATHlete program of geometry classes around the city for rising tenth graders who want to accelerate their math studies and take algebra II as tenth graders and, eventually, calculus in their senior year. Thirty-one students from Ballou, Eastern, Dunbar, McKinley, and Banneker Senior High Schools passed the class in 2017 and are now accelerated in their math studies. The Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program supplied the bulk of student salaries, and DCPS provided the bulk of teacher salaries. In each case, RISE supplemented the salaries to attract the best possible student and teacher candidates.

A Measurable Social Return on Investment

Success Markets, Inc. (SMI), an independent non-profit that helps organizations measure optimize their impact in making meaningful changes in the lives of the poor, recently completed a comprehensive evaluation of RISE-DC’s programs. The evaluation focused on estimating the value RISE-DC creates for all beneficiaries over their lifetimes.

SMI awarded RISE-DC their highest rating and reported the following:

  • The Social Return on Investment (SROI) for a RISE-DC student is approximately 21:1, or $21 in return for every $1 invested, an unusually high return.

  • Students who do not drop out from school due to RISE-DC’s efforts are the big value recipients.

  • RISE-DC also provides important benefits to students who would have graduated from high school even without its intervention, by giving them valuable skills they need to succeed in college.

  • Participating students receive, on average, an estimated $30,000 in additional lifetime income benefits as a result of RISE-DC’s programs. Of note, 75% of RISE-DC’s students have incomes below $12,000, including public assistance.

  • Communities receive an additional $12,000 for each student tutored in the form of increased tax revenues and cost savings.

Further details are available upon request.

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