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“When I first came to Chavez, math was one of my top struggles. I wasn’t quite sure if I’d ever make it to the next grade level when it came to math. However, RISE-DC tutors helped me to understand math on a broader level, and I will be graduating in June and attending my dream college.”

Brianne, a Chavez student who graduated in 2011

Latest News from RISE-DC

College Mentoring Gets Better and Better

Susan Laing supervises a terrific group of college mentors. The first cohort of beneficiaries have, with one exception, survived their first semester of college. This student will hit the ‘reset’ button at a closer four-year college in January. Our second cohort, current seniors, are busy finalizing their applications. Our third cohort, juniors, have gotten to know their mentors since last spring. Despite our lack of a current agreement with Anacostia High School, RISE-DC expects to be able to recruit a fourth cohort, of tenth graders, this winter from Ward 8 high schools.

RISE-DC Passes DCPS Vetting Review

Although RISE-DC has worked in local high schools for years, its agreements have never been formally approved by the District of Columbia Public Schools central offices as now required. This fall, RISE-DC submitted to the DCPS vetting process and now has a credential with DCPS so that it may contract with any school in the system. RISE-DC is currently negotiating with officials at Frank W. Ballou High School to provide services during the spring semester.

RISE-DC’s Summer Program Bigger and Better Than Ever

Many thanks to our old partners—Cesar Chavez, Chess Challenge in DC, Free Minds Book Club—as well as our new partner, YoKid, which provided an outstanding 35-hour yoga course for our summer MATHletes, pictured. The summer program also enabled seven WordSTARS to significantly increase their reading level and for nine rising juniors to take algebra II in order to ascend to Advanced Placement mathematics in senior year. The MATHletes pictured are rising sophomores who studied advanced topics like Markov Chains and how it relates to the incubation and spread of disease like the Ebola virus; linear programming; exponents, logs, and financial literacy; and combinatorics, or why not to play the lottery. In many ways this was our best year ever. Let me give my heartfelt thanks to all of you supporters for making our work possible. We could not do our work without your help.

‟It’s Kind of Surreal … Going to College”

Those words were uttered by one of our seniors at Anacostia who will be starting at North Carolina A&T next month. He and several other of the MATHletes we have worked with for four years are off to an amazing voyage, much of which is chronicled in my blog. Starting this weekend, I get to help deliver MATHletes to Langston University in Oklahoma, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T, and South Carolina State University. I can’t think of an activity that will give me more satisfaction.

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