Members of our Memphis office volunteered earlier this month to assist RISE with their goal card day initiative. RISE (Responsibility, Initiatives, Solutions, Empowerment) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1999 to assist Memphis public housing residents in achieving self-sufficiency. The Goal Card program was launched in 2003 focusing on goal-setting and improvement in grades, conduct and attendance for students living in the College Park and Foote Homes developments. As students earn points for accomplishing goals, they can redeem them for gift cards, small electronic items, school supplies and toys. As of October 2011, 350+ students are regularly participating members of Goal Card. In addition to outperforming their peers in elementary and middle school, Goal Card high school students have a 90% graduation rate with all graduating seniors to date enrolled in post-secondary institutions.
8 of our employees and advisors from our Memphis office volunteered as Goal Coaches who serve as positive role models for the Goal Card students. They helped set goals with the students, offered suggestions on how to do better in school and encourage students. They then assist them in redemption of the points they earned. This was this teams first visit of the school year, but they will be back 3 more times in the coming months.