Last school year, our Goal Card program reached over 650 students in high poverty schools in Memphis.
We were so pleased to be able to provide the program to students at Melrose High School in the Orange Mound neighborhood starting last school year. Melrose was ranked in the bottom 5% of schools, so Goal Card was a natural fit - the program motivatd students to set goals and work towards them, while improving their conduct, grades, and attendance. We have been so proud to see these students work hard and earn incentives!
Word of our successes reached our neighbors in Fayette County, where the Superintendent invited RISE to start Goal Card programs at each of the junior high schools. We are honored to be invited to work with the students and are eager to work with the students to encourage high achievement!
The graduation rate for Goal Card students is 91% compared to 68% of students not enrolled in the program. This is the end result of students learning to take responsibility for the improvement of their grades, attendance, and conduct, as well as their hard work.
We have been asked to start Goal Card programs in additional schools. We need your support to continue to grow. There are many schools and students who would benefit from an extra boost to help them unlock their potential and achieve even more!
Common Cents is a financial literacy program focused on helping low-wage workers to make better choices in how they spend their hard earned money. Recently the facilitated class was offered to a small company in Memphis and immediately the owner, saw his hourly employees keeping track of their receipts so they could actually see how much money they spent on things outside of their household expenses. To some this may seem like a "common sense" thing to do, but with the invention of credit cards, debit card, etc., purchases are often made with little consideration of how it affects the user's ability to meet essential obligations (rent, utilities, food for the family, etc.).
One of the Common Cents participants, Ricco saw this quickly, when he added up his first set of weekly receipts and saw that he spend over $50 for sodas, chips, cookies and other non-essential items in one week. That $50 could have been used to pay for gas to get him to work each week. So now, thanks to your support of the RISE Common Cents Program, Ricco is watching what he spends by setting up a budget that will allow him to spend no more than $5 each week for items that he can actually do without or bring from home.
Thanks to all who support the RISE Common Cents program and remember, it brings a little" Common Sense" back to money management for folks who really need it like Ricco! Remember with a small contributions to RISE, it will make the difference in the life of one person who really needs it to make their earnings stretch to meet the needs of their family!
In 2012, we first met Brian, an unemployed father of a seven year old son. He heard about the Building Assets for Fathers and Families (BAFF) program though Maximus, a partner agency. As a non-custodial parent, he wanted to find a good paying job that would enable him to save money, pay his bills, and meet his child support obligation.
His job search led him to a Maximus sponsored job fair, which he learned about at a BAFF workshop. At the job fair, he was interviewed and hired on the spot to work for Maximus as an Establishment Caseworker. Once he became employed, he used the skills that he learned in the BAFF Program to manage his credit and create a realistic spending plan.
In January of 2013, he enrolled in the Save Up Program. As a Save Up participant, Brian became a focused and diligent saver, setting his sights on purchasing a vehicle. He says that he is grateful for the opportunity to purchase reliable transportation, which is essential to realizing his dream of working in the IT field.
On April 17, 2014, Brian purchased a beautiful 2007 Chrysler 300 Touring! Now he is able to get to work, to see his son, and to get to class. He is set to graduate with his Bachelor's degree in Information Science next year.
We are so glad that we could play a part in helping Brian to stabilize his family situation and to make better informed financial choices so that his family could prosper!