The RISE 21st Century After School Program was established in 2011 and serves as a community resource bank for underprivileged, Native Hawaiian youth ages 8-18 in the Hilo district. The main focus is to aid in revealing their individual strengths and passions for future career and academic success. A variety of mediums are used to build Individual Student Success Plans (ISSP) such as but not limited to: apprenticeships, Hawaiian cultural practice, internships, multimedia, performing arts, project exhibitions, student exchange, and work study initiatives. As youth discover their potential strengths and passions, RISE helps connect them with voluntary mentors from the immediate community and abroad who share similar strengths and passions to share knowledge, foster and develop self-esteem, and to bridge the generational gap between adults and youth. RISE also provides opportunities to support physical well-being, cultural identity, and leadership.
Their key objectives for youth success are the following:
1) To reveal the strengths and passions of youth participants to contribute toward overall student engagement and confidence.
2) To help youth participants develop Individual Student Success Plans (ISSP) to track monthly goals and expectations and to contribute toward building responsible, respectful and reliable students.
3) To provide individual mentoring for encouragement, motivation, self-esteem, and to increase knowledge of future career and academic paths.
4) To implement Hawaiian cultural practices such as the art of hoʻōla hou (restoration discipline) and hoʻokele/hoe wa‘a (canoe voyaging/paddling) to teach values and encourage discipline, balance, and leadership for physical, mental, and spiritual well- being.
5) To incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) principles in the cultural/place-based learning domains we have access to.