Road to Independence, Success and Empowerment

RISE! (formerly Project LEAD) was developed based on three years of research conducted by our organization. The report, “A Retrospective Study of the High School Experiences of Women Leaders in the Greater Houston Area”, identified several elements in successful women’s high school backgrounds that contributed to their current achievements. The RISE! curriculum is based on these recommendations and the program was launched in 2005 as a pilot for pregnant and parenting girls at Jeff Davis High School.

Today, RISE! is hosted at multiple high schools around the Greater Houston area and reaches 200+ at risk girls each year through an interactive curriculum. Originally a one semester program for 9th and 10th grade girls to learn values and goal setting, through our strategic plan RISE! will transition to a four year model to help prepare girls to make strategic decisions for their post-high school life. RISE! remains the only research based program in Houston that teaches at risk girls the life skills necessary for professional success as well as the financial education that is vital for their personal success. RISE! proactively counters the high dropout rate and teaches girls to avoid financial pitfalls.

RISE! participants are at risk because they are low income, pregnant, weak academic performers and/or are first in their family to finish high school or attend college. At the schools where RISE! is offered, 40% – 95% of the students are classified as “economically disadvantaged”. Our hope is that RISE! prevents the girls from becoming adult women that attend our classes.

Lizette's Story
"Coming from a family with limited resources, it was crucial for me to learn how to manage my money and be able to help my parents make smart decisions financially. I have to say that this program taught me that it's important to pay myself first and save up money for future emergencies and retirement. The program also taught me something about myself: I'd like to major in business management. I've enjoyed the class so much, I'd like to keep learning more about this topic in upcoming years. My thoughts about money have changed drastically. Now I appreciate every dollar that's been given to me. I used to take for granted my parents bills and payments. I now understand that money plays a major role in our daily lives and the way it's spent can have long lasting effects on us."

For a detailed program description, click here.
To discuss hosting RISE! at your site, contact Alicia Rios.

Current RISE! Sites