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Help Break Generational Poverty

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RISE Foundation Works to Break Generational Poverty

Mission Statement

The mission of RISE is to help people to become self-sufficient by building and sustaining human and financial assets.

List Programs and Descriptions

Goal Card, a program launched in 2003, focuses on students living in zip code 38126 and 38114, where students from the highest concentration of low-income families are enrolled in Cummings Elementary, LaRose Elementary, Booker T. Washington Middle School, Bellevue Middle School, Cummings Middle School, Booker T. Washington High School and Melrose High School. The incentive-based program focuses on goal-setting and improvement in grades, conduct and attendance. As students earn points for accomplishing their goals, they can either redeem for specific items offered each six-week period or bank points for future redemptions. Incentives include gift cards, school supplies, and small electronics. As of January 2019, there are 450+ regularly participating members of Goal Card. In addition to out-performing their peers in elementary and middle school, Goal Card high school students last academic school year had a 100% graduation rate with all graduating seniors to date enrolled in post-secondary institutions.

Common Cents, a workplace financial education program, was launched in 2005 in response to broad based concern about poor credit and bankruptcy issues in the Memphis area. Common Cents offers area employers the opportunity to give hourly workers the gift of financial literacy and in doing so increase productivity, decrease absenteeism and create greater workforce productivity. The curriculum features topics such as banking, budgeting and spending strategies and debt management. More than 4,000 Memphis-based employees from 70 companies/organizations have successfully completed the curriculum. RISE now operates the Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center (GMFEC) in Shelby County (created by the Shelby County Trustee’s Office and the City of Memphis) through a match grant from Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE). RISE is the official provider of service (one-on-one financial counseling) for the center. GMFEC opened in April 2019 and focuses on the following critical financial issues: Debt reduction, improved credit scores, and increased savings of citizens in our community.

We continue to have a financial empowerment program for senior citizens through the establishment of financial learning circles led by senior ambassadors through the Silver Neighbors (SN) program that was established in 2012. Silver Neighbors serves over 1,300+ seniors annually. This program also provides information about and partners with the Coordinated Response to Elder Abuse (CREA) Initiative designed to keep seniors safe from physical, emotional and financial harm.