Welcome to RISE!
BECOME A STUDENT
Find help and hope with our free program that includes computer classes, job training, money management, and more.
Volunteer with us to make a difference in the lives of women in our community.
how RISE makes a difference
Our Mission is to EDUCATE, ENCOURAGE & EMPOWER women & men to RISE to a place of self-sufficiency.
PATRICK FAIRLEY, JR.
Patrick had a turbulent childhood, however he graduated high school and even attended Meridian Community College. He majored in Medical Office/EMT.
Patrick’s time was interrupted with tragedy which left him alone. He began to suffer from PTSD from his childhood. He has seen things that most of us will only experience through TV, but he lived it.
Patrick had to run away to protect his life. The great people at Pinebelt Mental Health along with other agencies were able to help him. They were able to get him into an apartment and introduce him to RISE. Everyone says it is easy to help Patrick because he has such a great attitude: however, you can feel his sorrow just below the surface.
When RISE met Patrick he would rarely speak. The only way we knew how intelligent he was is when he would write. He excelled in all of our classes and was a true stand-out. Slowly we began to hear more from this young man.
In class he developed friendships and his friends at PBMH never left his side. We also discovered that Patrick could SING!! And at the RISE Graduation ceremony he lead his class in their song! This is a long way to come for a young man who would not even speak to begin with!
Patrick continues to experience trauma. While in Phase One Classes at RISE his apartment burned down. Most people would quit after an event like this, but not Patrick. He is using his great attitude and the things he learned at RISE in his new employment.
Patrick said, “While attending RISE, I learned that it takes dedication and determination to achieve something in life.”
Patrick is still living on his own, employed, and has a puppy named Mork.
Lisa began our program while she was living in a tent! She had lived there for 6 months. She was distracted, depressed and dirty. It was clear that she only came to the program for something to do every day.
She had a huge backpack that was almost as big as she was, hanging off her and everywhere she went, it went with her. Without a shower, or place to clean her clothes, she couldn't find a way to smell particularly nice and as classes started up, many volunteers were uncomfortable around her.
Within the first week, Lisa began to come out of her shell. As the second week ended, some new participants joined, so everyone had to go over the Participants Handbook once again. At the end of that day, Lisa was visibly upset and wanted to talk.
She started to cry. She looked our Director in the eyes and said, “Please don’t throw me away.”
While crying she pulled out an old kitchen, butcher knife minus the handle. She explained,
“It’s the only thing that keeps me from getting raped every night in the woods. Please don’t make me quit the program. This is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. Please don’t make me leave.”
Since re-hearing the policy on having no weapons in class she was so afraid we were going to kick her out of the program for this!
We learned that she had a degree in Horticulture and an adult daughter that she had lost touch with many years ago. Lisa wrote her daughter a letter.
The greatest obstacle for her was having no identification papers; therefore, she couldn't get a job or an apartment.
She now has a bank account, a job, and a safe place to sleep at night! Also, her daughter responded to the letter, they reconnected, and now, they have regained their relationship.
Jamie’s story begins at the young age of 5 when her mother gave her away to the state because she said she could not handle her. Jamie bounced through foster homes and at age 11, Jamie was sent to a local mental treatment hospital. She then went into group homes until she aged out of the system.
Jamie was homeless. She had been told her entire life that she was incapable of success and would not amount to anything.
Jamie first became introduced to RISE while she was living in a shelter. She was asked to register for the upcoming classes. She said, “I have too many mental issues. I can’t complete anything.”
Jamie did experience a few bumps in the road. The staff at RISE would just talk to her and encourage her every single time. During the Goal Setting Class, they learned that Jamie’s dream was to have a college degree. However, she had been told over and over that she would never be able to complete her GED.
So, RISE took her to GED class and Jamie graduated with her GED - as an honor student.
She enrolled at PRCC for a degree in Business. The director sent in her story for a National Scholarship Competition, without her knowing, and Jamie won!
But Jamie felt like she had failed every class and since school was so difficult for her, she should quit school and go to work.
Jamie said, “I will never open that account again. I know I have failed. I don’t want to see it.”
After much persuading, she finally agreed to check her college account. Not only did she pass all her classes, Jamie Reyes had made the DEAN’S LIST for her 3rd semester at PRCC.
On May 10th, 2018 Jamie Reyes walked across the platform at PRCC to receive her Associates in Business Degree.
the sky is the limit!
Inspiring and empowering women through self-sufficiency.
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Your gift to CWJC will be used to help women in the Greater Pinebelt Area build important skills to reach their full potential. Thank you for giving!