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Keep up with RISE Colorado!
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This month we're sharing RISE member Diana's reflections on her work with us from the speech she shared at our 2015 Fundraiser and Office Opening Party.
My name is Diana. I’m the mother of a preschooler, Miranda, who attends  Jamaica Child Development Center, and I have been living in Aurora for almost 15 years. 

I’m a member of RISE and am excited to share with you all tonight about my work with RISE Colorado because I think they are doing an awesome job helping us to improve the education our children are receiving. My first experience with RISE was awesome. I met RISE at the Parent Opportunity Gap (or POG) Night. It was a night full of information that was useful for me as a parent but also for my child. I had never heard of the opportunity gap. I was surprised to hear that such injustice existed here. I always thought that in a country like the U.S. students had better learning opportunities, and I was shocked to learn that this wasn’t the case. 

At the POG night I learned about academic achievement in the U.S., in Colorado, and even right here in Aurora. I was shocked to learn that in some states in the U.S., projections for the sizes of future jails are based on third grade reading scores. 

I was motivated to continue attending RISE workshops because I wanted to learn more about how I could help my daughter succeed in school and overcome the statistics. Before I went to Family Learning Night, I never thought I could learn how to help my daughter be successful at school by doing simple things like reading everything we see at the grocery store.  The best part of the workshops was all the information I gathered  that I could actually put it into practice right away at home.  The workshops helped me prepare to work with the coalition by showing me what my daughter needed to learn in preschool and by helping me think about what I wanted for her education. 

There are a lot of Latino families in Aurora Public Schools. I believe our community needs more opportunities to learn about these statistics so that we can make sure our kids can change them. I  believe RISE can help our community improve the district for our kids!
RISE Fundraiser & Office Opening Party

THANK YOU!!!
 
A huge thanks to everyone who came out to our 2015 Fundraiser and Office Opening Party! We had delicious food and drinks donated from Atlanta Bread Company, Chipotle, Kokoro, Mu Brewery, and Taz Indian Restaurant.
Our members had a great time sharing their stories with everyone. We are incredibly grateful for all the contributions made to support us as we work to grow our impact in Aurora. If you were unable to join us and would like to make a donation to support our work, you can still contribute!
DONATE NOW
Growing the RISE Family: Meet Elizabeth Reetz & Steven Gordy
We are excited to welcome our second hire, Program Specialist Elizabeth Reetz, and Denver Foundation Summer Intern Steven Gordy to the RISE Colorado team. Here's a little more about them:
Elizabeth Reetz
RISE Program Specialist
"I RISE because I believe that RISE will empower low income families and families of color to become the leaders in the fight for educational equity."
What is your new role at RISE? What will you be doing in your role?  
As the Program Specialist, I will be responsible for building and maintaining relationships with schools through professional development and RISE workshops. My work will focus on the Educate Phase of RISE’s Educate-Engage-Empower cycle.
 
What are you most excited for as you join the RISE family?
I am excited for the opportunity to work with passionate educators and families in the Aurora community. This is a new community for me and I can’t wait to become a part of it.
  
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
I want the ability to transmit feelings and empathy via touch. It would be such a fantastic power to motivate people to take action and create change!
 
Why do you believe parent involvement is important to student achievement?
I have seen what family involvement can do: I would not have been able to be the first in my family to go to college without the support, advocacy, and strong example set by my mom. 
Steven Gordy
RISE Intern
"I RISE to show other first generation Latino/as that it is possible to go on and succeed from a University of Higher Education. I RISE so that I can lend my hand to them as they embark on their journeys to make something better for themselves, their families, and their communities. I RISE to show my family that their love and sacrifice will always mean something to me. I RISE to change the world."
What is your new role at RISE? What will you be doing in your role?  
My primary role this summer will be to support in the development and design of the new RISE Colorado website, as well as with the operations of the organization. In this role, I will become familiar with our new database NationBuilder, and brainstorm around how we can most effectively utilize the features to best engage RISE members.
 
What are you most excited for as you join the RISE family?
I am most excited about furthering my knowledge of the Aurora community, as well as learning how I can best leverage my own skills in supporting the families and any other members of RISE!
 
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
If I could have any super power, I would have the ability to freeze time, in part because there never seems to be enough time to get everything accomplished in a day, but more so because it gives me the opportunity to reflect on the good moments and the beauty in the world- something especially needed in social justice work.
 
Why do you believe parent involvement is important to student achievement?
Next Spring, I will be the first in my family to graduate from college, but I know that I would not have made it this far without the support and love of my family. They encouraged me in my times of doubt and celebrated me in the successes. As hard as these past four years have been, and even throughout my education previously, I always knew that I had people in my corner regardless of what I chose for my life and I honestly feel as though that made all of the difference in the world. 
Pahara NextGen Leaders Recognition
We're honored and excited to share that RISE Co-Founder & Co-CEO Veronica Palmer has been selected as a Fall 2015 Pahara Fellow in the NextGen Leaders Network! Read more about the fellowship here!
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