With your support of RISE, we will continue to motivate and encourage our youth to push beyond adversities, set achievable goals and use every talent bestowed upon them to make positive outcomes.
Chris exemplifies how to change your mindset to be optimistic and extend your creativity for the good. The RISE family salutes Chris, a recent college graduate and alumni Goal Card participant, for overcoming challenges and breaking barriers. Chris, the kid with no college acceptance letter and no scholarship offers, has proven to all the naysayers and most importantly, himself and family, that he isn't just a slim, unassuming kid with no drive, focus and dedication—he is now a college graduate.
RISE’s original Goal Card school had been identified as the national contest winner of the 2011 Commencement Challenge, all thanks to Chris, a RISE Goal Card Participant at the time, who charmed our U.S. President Barack Obama in a video submission. Chris was chosen to introduce the President at commencement, surpassing the valedictorian and salutatorian.
Now, five years from that moment, Chris has turned the tassel again, this time becoming the first college graduate in his immediate family to receive his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
Chris said that if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t do anything differently “No, I wouldn’t change a thing! Honestly, I couldn’t have scripted what I did any better. Although I came up without the guidance of my dad, I had positive influences from RISE and from my neighborhood that helped to provide hope and direction. All that led to me being the person I have become and doing the things that I have been blessed to experience and accomplish, so I’m good!”
Help us to continue our work and mentor and motivate our youth. We currently serve over 700 children and with your help with can continue to make dreams realities. The more you give, the more RISE's Goal Card program can expand its reach to serve more youth in the Memphis community.