Rise is a youth-led nonprofit dedicated to providing resources to those with learning differences and those who support them. Through teaching about learning differences and breaking harmful misconceptions, our goal is to create a community in unity for the common goal of equitable educational opportunities regardless of the presence of a learning difference. In guiding parents and students through the process of getting educational support, we seek to eliminate fear and increase awareness. This community of students and allies will support and celebrate each other, building self-esteem and courage. At Rise, we support those with learning disabilities in rising up to the challenges that come along with living with a learning difference. Updates from Rise
I developed my non-profit, Rise, with the mission of supporting those with learning differences, and their allies, by providing information about learning disabilities and breaking misconceptions about them. The topic of overcoming a learning disability hits close to my heart as I have dyslexia and worked hard as a child to overcome reading challenges. The National Center for Learning Disabilities states that one in five children have learning differences, and at least one-fifth of these go undiagnosed or unsupported. All too often these kids do not receive the support they need. These children may go through life thinking they are stupid when in actuality they are smart and vibrant children who learn differently.
Students with learning differences are often faced with hurtful misconceptions about themselves that come from a lack of knowledge and understanding about what it means to have a learning disability. It upsets me to think of kids hearing unkind and untrue comments about themselves, and my goal is to develop a website that corrects the negative and damaging misconceptions that sometimes exist about learning differences by educating people about the facts, and in doing so, we provide hope and confidence for these children.
To build on to this goal of breaking misconceptions, Rise also developed a strong resource base that includes essential information about learning disabilities and how to thrive with one. Our resources cover topics such as the different types of learning disabilities, how to help your child with an LD, a personal letter to young adults, a global perspective and extended time.
Rise provides helpful and supportive information in the same way a friend would—in kind and understanding language, letting the reader know that they are not alone and supported by our community. We provide easy-to-understand descriptions of what it means for someone to have a learning disability, and we also provide easy-to-understand descriptions of common and prevalent learning disabilities. But we extend that information with a platform of support and empathy. “How to help your child” provides a unique voice in a note targeted towards parents, guardians, and allies, including important (but hard to find) resources about how to get your child evaluated, creating a learning plan for your child, what to do if you run into roadblocks, and how to be a support system for your child. This section is incredibly valuable because its information comes from those who gained experience in navigating the system and research from a variety of sources. Rise accumulates this necessary information into one place, in a way that is easy to understand and consume. We begin to build community in “Dear young adults”, which is a heartfelt note to young adults with learning disabilities acknowledging the discouraging feelings they may have, and how to navigate their education given the extra hard work to “even the playing field” with their non-LD peers. It shares tips and helpful recommendations to help be the best and most productive versions of themselves.
Recognizing that learning disabilities affect people all over the world, we are currently building a “Global Perspectives” section which offers research-based information about the challenges in educational systems around the world, and why it is important to be aware of them. Many people around the world go undiagnosed, and many countries do not have the resources for recognizing and addressing educational differences. This can lead to a life that feels like living in the dark and misunderstood, where those with LD are not able to reach their full potential. Those who go undiagnosed may not understand why they can’t grasp material in the same way their peers may be able to. In addition, the misconception that students will grow out of a learning disability is harmful because this prevents children from getting the help they need. Rise works to shed light on these topics and break these misconceptions.
I am excited to be a part of the 2020 Call for Kindness coalition because this will enable me to expand the Rise community and focus on providing support for underrepresented children. For the upcoming year, we will be developing some programming to help under-represented kids and their families understand what services are available and how to access them. We will be utilizing the remote format to create podcasts, interviews, and Q&A sessions. I am excited to continue growing Rise and supporting those who do not have the resources to navigate this education system on their own. At Rise, we are dedicated to empowering those with learning disabilities and their allies through information, resources, and community. For too long, assumptions have been made about those with learning disabilities, and it is time for more children to be understood, and for more adults to be able to achieve their full potential.
We are always looking for more people to join our community. Learn more: www.risewithld.org