RISE, a local education nonprofit coordinating cross-sector partners to develop community solutions for students, has received a $150,000 grant, which will go toward programs to encourage Latinx students to earn postsecondary credentials.
StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working to bring communities together around data to improve results for kids, provided the grant.
RISE’s efforts are intended to help meet Idaho Project 60, a goal to have 60 percent of workers ages 25 to 34 years old hold a postsecondary credential by 2025.
Jessica Ruehrwein, executive director of the Boise-based nonprofit, noted that Idaho currently ranks last in the country in Latinx with postsecondary credentials.
The organization will be working with the Nampa School District, as well as the College of Western Idaho and Boise State University.
“I am thrilled that RISE was one of the five Strive communities that received the grant,” said Wendy Johnson, superintendent of the Kuna School District, who serves as a RISE vice chair. “We have been doing great things for kids in the Treasure Valley with amazing talent of volunteers and very little revenue. The grant will allow us to move our work forward even more intentionally, particularly in the area of college and career readiness, because we will be able to hire more staff to support our working groups, and just as important, be able to network with other Strive communities across the United States so we can share ideas with one another.”
RISE was formed in 2012 by the nine Treasure Valley school districts, as well as Bishop Kelly High School, higher education institutions and the business community, Ruehrwein said. It modeled itself after Strive, which is what made the grant so gratifying, she said.
The organization has also received funds from the United Way and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, as well as the districts and higher education institutions.
“To do this work effectively, we need to increase our capacity,” Ruehrwein said.
Eventually, RISE could receive as much as $200,000 annually for two years from Strive, which will help it leverage the resources of its community partners, she said.