Rise Program having positive impact on teens

Posted at 12:58 PM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 13:58:17-04

The Rise program in Nebraska seeks to help at risk youth throughout the state. It's seeing really positive results results in the Omaha area.

"Basically I would just have outbursts for no apparent reason."

A problem Mikheal Rouse and other students across the metro face. At the state level, The Rise program with the help of Americorps is making an impact on students on probation or who are troubled. 

"When I first got into this program I didn't really like it. At all."

But after a few classes focusing on motivation and goal setting."They were trying to help me and I couldn't turn down that help because it was too good of an opportunity."

There's focus on things like time management and resume building and it's tailored to each student. "Research has shown that those youth who obtain skills, such as what we teach in the curriculum obtain or sustain employment, they have a lower risk of recidivating or re-offending" says Allison McElderry 

There's also time to confide and bond. "I see things that they're going to encounter and they see things that i've already encountered, and I believe that's where the building of the relationship comes in at" says Program Specialist Ray Rose. 

"when this particular person kept pursuing me and  telling me to keep staying in that group and keep at it and made a deal with me to do proper applications.. It kind OF clicked in my head that someone was actually caring for me for once and helped me with my struggles and helped me get a job" says Rouse 

And he's noticed a difference."I feel like i've been smarter, like I've been more alive." And so have his family and friends. "They're really surprised about it, that's for sure. "

The programs are held locally at Blackburn and South High School based on the need. 

"Don't be afraid to ask an adult for help, don't always think for yourself. And don't always say you know everything, 'cuz you don't."