Ready to Rise

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR THE JOURNEY THROUGH COLLEGE


IF YOU LOVE YOUR COMMUNITY
IF YOU’RE READY TO GROW
IF YOU’RE READY TO SERVE
IF YOU’RE READY TO LEAD
YOU MAY BE READY TO RISE


The Beginnings


Ready to Rise began as an effort to extend the proven success of the Act Six initiative to a greater number of students attending a wider range of colleges and universities. Act Six provides cohort-based leadership development and full scholarships to diverse emerging leaders as they earn their degrees at private liberal arts colleges and return home as leaders in their communities. Rigorously studied Act Six has produced remarkable outcomes, but has been limited in the number of students it can serve due to the cost of scholarships at private colleges.

With initial funding from College Spark Washington, Ready to Rise will broaden the reach of Act Six, utilizing the same cohort-based leadership development approach to support students at public two-year colleges and four-year universities, starting locally with Clark College and WSU Vancouver. With an aim to serve 1,000 students from three Washington communities over the first five years, Ready to Rise will scale to serve larger numbers of students across the country in the years ahead.

The Need


Historically under-served communities across Washington State and the country enjoy wonderful cultural and economic diversity where people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences have regular opportunities to interact and communicate. Yet these communities also yearn for new generations of committed, visionary leaders who will build bridges across differences and respond creatively to the pressing challenges they confront.

Unfortunately, people of color and those from low-income families are still underrepresented in higher education and there remain significant disparities in college retention rates for students from different cultural and economic backgrounds. Ready to Rise was created as a way to address this issue by educating, inspiring and equipping a new generation of visionary, committed community leaders who choose a public higher education path.

The Vision


Ready to Rise believes that emerging urban and community leaders, with the right opportunity, support and inspiration, can combine their natural gifts and passion with a college education to create a new kind of bold, visionary leadership that will transform our campuses, our communities and our collective future.

When you think about moments of significant positive change that have happened in your community, you can usually point to a group of connected people who made it happen. Networks of effective leaders working together get things done. The problem is that those leadership networks don’t always look like or represent the full breadth of a community, and as a result, some groups tend to get left behind. For our communities to thrive in the future, we need diverse networks of homegrown leaders who love their home and are committed to building vibrant communities.

We believe that through developing students’ leadership and connecting them back to opportunities in their hometowns, both business leaders as well as soon-to-be college graduates can create a shared vision and commitment to a community and a future where everyone thrives.


Core Values


SERVICE

  • Motivations for and perspectives on service
  • Frameworks for understanding service and community development
  • Connecting individual gifts and passions with community needs

Diversity

  • Exploring differing cultural lenses and their effect on intercultural relationships
  • Understanding and communicating across differences
  • Exploring race dynamics in America and on the college campus
  • Identity formation in a multicultural environment

Vision

  • Identifying and aligning with our core values
  • Understanding the vision of the Ready to Rise program

Leadership

  • Exploration of various leadership styles
  • Exploration and development of personal leadership strengths
  • Practical tools for leadership

Transformation

  • Dynamics of personal and organizational change

Community

  • Trust-building and nurturing of authentic relationships
  • Acknowledging and supporting individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Exploration of community and campus assets and needs

Preparation

  • Critical reading, writing, and discussion skill development
  • Time and money management
  • Addressing the personal and social challenges of campus life

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