What a special day it was as we celebrated our Inaugural Cohort of 6th graders who successfully completed our Rise High programming in the 2018 spring semester. This special group of students will be moving up to 7th grade in the fall, and they will join us again as 7th graders! We are already missing them (but we will see them soon!).

We celebrated with the students and their families, Rise High staff, mentors, partners, instructors, and supporters of the program. As they say… “It takes a village”… and we are very grateful for our village. Each student was recognized with a personalized note that spoke to his or her strengths and unique traits. We also highlighted 5 students who characterized themselves by their Fellowship, Perseverance, Curiosity, Creativity, and Growth. This was a great opportunity for us to share with their families how proud we are of our students, how wonderful their kids are, as well as thanking them for all the parental support that has allowed us to provide such opportunities to their kids. The students also had the opportunity to express gratitude to their families for their support.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work and engagement or our volunteers, staff, partners, and supporters. We had a special recognition for The Little Family Foundation, Mark Little, and Terri Little, for supporting this initiative with their talents, time, energy, and resources. We also recognized some of our volunteers with the Above & Beyond Award due to their impressive commitment engaging in any way necessary. Our Executive Director, Dr. Omayra Padilla De Jesús, also recognized our valuable partners – Clarkson University (Capital District Campus), Schenectady County Community College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) – who have from the very beginning embraced our vision and mission, and become part of this amazing journey.

Have a lovely summer, everyone!! We will see you soon when the leaves start changing color!