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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Arise Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Crime & Law, Disaster Aid, Safety Education, Youth Development Programs, Youth Violence Prevention

Mission: ARISE's focus is on troubled youth; violent, aggressive offenders who thumb their nose at family and community often ending up in juvenile detention. ARISE has chosen to deal with this population who have substance-abuse dependency, mental and emotional problems and, in all likelihood, have been subjected to physical, and sexual abuse. They require much more than just a secure facility for any chance at a normal life. ARISE delivers its social skills lessons to approxamately 5,000 at-risk youth each week as an antidote for their menacing anti-social behavior.According to America's Promise: The Alliance for Youth, nearly 67% of African American children and almost 25% of white children live in households with only one parent. Two million American children have a parent in jail and approximately 8 million children regularly spend time without adult supervision. A total of 30 million young Americans live in families with incomes below the poverty level. Life is often too hard for many youth. With daily survival often the priority, many of the tools youth need to make healthy choices are not available. This is where the ARISE Foundation make a difference. A 1998 study by Vanderbelt University estimated that each high-risk juvenile prevented from adopting a life of crime could save the country between $1.7-2.3 million.ARISE Foundation?s mission is to introduce valuable life skills to youth, enabling them to achieve their highest potential through training and education. This mission is accomplished in two ways, through the development of life-skill lessons and through careful training of ARISE certified life-skills instructors. ARISE has written over 260 life-skill lessons, such as anger management, conflict resolution, and finding and keeping a job, among others. These lessons were carefully written to be highly interactive and understandable for at-risk youth ages pre-k to teens. This population required gentle encouragement to express their honest feelings in ARISE groups. To accomplish this, rigorous staff training was a must. ARISE created a unique delivery system for teaching life skills by training staff in seven intensive hours on precisely how to conduct memorable, interactive, group life-skill lessons. A remarkable 5,000 ARISE Certified Life Skills instructors have also been trained. They have taught an astounding 3,500,000 documented hours of ARISE Life-Skill Lessons to at-risk youth in Florida and Washington D.C. ARISE Foundation?s goals are to continue to create lessons and update training, as well as broaden the number of people using these tools worldwide. ARISE foundation is unique in that it is the only program of its kind created specifically for juvenile offenders.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

My personal experience with ARISE Foundation had led me to understand the incredible dedication and expertise the founders have provided to the Juvenile Justice System. Beginning in Florida over 25 years ago, this service of training-the-trainer to assist youthful offenders has spread throughout the United States and the world. Most impressive have been the outside assessments that the program has undergone which have provided outstanding results for the effectiveness of the program. Commendation is deserving to the founders for their practice of giving their teaching materials free to developing nations' organizations who wish to improve their juvenile justice systems.

Debbie B.


Rating: 5

The ARISE Foundation has a wealth of information for children and teens. Provided in their curriculum are such titles as Teen Anger Danger, Gangs 50+ Stories of Fractured Lives and Life Skills for Young Folks. The books are easy to understand and packed with valuable lessons. Each structured lesson is interactive, engaging, to-the-point and anything but boring. ARISE trains juvenile justice officers, school administrators, probation officers or anyone with an interest in working with at-risk youth how to become certified Life Skills Instructors. The Life Skills instructors learn valuable lessons along the way and are highly motivated to reach and help those in their care.

ARISE helps at-risk youth by teaching them the life skills they should have learned from the adults and authority figures in their lives.

Please! Help ARISE, help others... Please!


Rating: 5

As of 4/26/2011, ARISE has certified over 5,457 Group Facilitators who have gone on to teach more than 5,400,000 documented hours of interactive ARISE Life Skills lessons for at-risk youth and teens across the United States and beyond.

Its founders, Edmund and Susan Benson have dedicated their golden years to helping at-risk youth become good citizens by writing and publishing curricula that have been proven extremely effective in evidence-based studies. Recently, they have provided their materials free of charge to be used by former child soldiers in Uganda as well as in other third world countries.