Category Archives: RISE

“We need more mentors!”

A great problem to have! The uptake for our RISE mentoring at Mount Carmel Secondary School in Dublin tripled from 5 last year to 15 this year.

“I know how to set goals for myself that I can achieve.”

“Mentoring was amazing, motivating and fun!”

“I thought it was going to be boring, but it was fun, enjoyable and interesting.”

That 15 of the 36 girls who completed the RISE leadership programme before Christmas have asked for mentoring demonstrates their enthusiasm and commitment to their school and local community and to their own development. As mentors, we have an exciting opportunity to help guide and encourage these 16-year-olds to reach their goals which range from developing a comprehensive CV to finding a way to connect with their local community groups and build a strong social network.

We are grateful for the students from IBI (our office neighbours) who have volunteered to be mentors.

In the first session we help the students to focus on identifying a clear and specific goal they want to work towards and some of the steps that will help them get there. What we have noticed is that not only are they getting some guidance from us but we have seen a lot of additional help coming from the other mentees, their peers,  who often have fascinating insights into the challenges they are facing.

“I’ve learned that there are more opportunities available than I thought to reach my goal.”

“I learned that it is good to create steps to your goal to make it more realistic.”

“Planning things out is less stressful.”

It is a joy for us to see students begin this mentoring journey unsure of what will happen and already by the end of week 1 see them excited and more confident in what they want to achieve. One girl’s response to the end of the first session was that she, “learned how to plan and visualise realistic goals,” with many others commenting that they felt more confident as a result of participating in the mentoring session.

We look forward to seeing how these student’s journey’s progress over the weeks ahead!

 “Mentoring opened my mind to seek help with applying for courses.”

“I know where to ask now to get help with my goal.”


Join our team for Santa Dash this December

This Sunday, on a freezing cold December morning we have an amazing team of people running along a beach dressed as Santa, helping us raise money for teenagers in Dublin.


We believe that teenagers across Dublin can make a difference in their communities. Our RISE Leadership and Mentoring programmes, which develop teenagers’ leadership skills are growing and we need your help to continue that growth. Over the last few years, we have worked with hundreds of teenagers in a variety of schools and youth programmes and now we want to expand our service to reach even more teens across Dublin and beyond.SD2013

As we work to develop RISE into an online resource we need you to partner with us. We’re asking if you can  support our team as they run on December 4th as part of the Santa Dash. We want to encourage them to reach the finish line in one piece, beard still intact!

You can do this by donating on our fundraising page here and also by sharing this link with your friends and family.

Thank you for your support in helping us achieve our dream of seeing more teenagers become leaders of hope and positive change in their communities.


Remembering RISE

As we (Ashleigh and Anne) walk in to Mount Carmel Secondary School not far from O’Connell Street in Dublin, we are feel at home. The teachers passing by say hello, we chat about our summers and wave to the principal as we sit in the staff room. We’re grateful and excited to be back in the school for another year of our RISE Programme.

As we head from one Transition Year class to the next, we meet Chloe and Sarah in the hallway. They both took part in both our Leadership and Mentoring Programmes last year and their faces light up when they see us. In a brief conversation they are quick to update us on the goals they made in last year’s mentoring sessions. Chloe has joined a local basketball team and Sarah has started writing a novel, a goal she has been working towards for a long time. It is amazing to see the two of them so excited about getting more involved in their communities whether through sport or extra academics.

We let them get on to class and then also run into Hannah who was one of our first mentees when we piloted the programme two years ago. She is now a sixth year and settling into her final year of school well.

It’s these conversations, smiles, and enthusiasm that make us see what a difference both the Leadership and Mentoring Programmes makes in the lives of Dublin teenagers. It’s these interactions that keep us going with our RISE programmes and why we can’t wait to share with you more stories of change when we finish this current programme before Christmas

Teenagers serving the community – RISE update

Mount Carmel (Autumn 2015)

At the beginning of the academic year we had the privilege of returning to Mount Carmel Secondary School in the Dublin’s North Inner city for the third year in a row. We love working with the students and teachers from this school; we are thankful for the relationship we have built there. This year we had the bonus of two transition year classes instead of just one and it was all systems go as we set out for another 10 weeks of developing young leaders.

The two classes worked well and within each one we began to see the development of ideas  which would positively influence their local communities. The first class decided upon a community clean-up and the second class chose to visit an elderly care home. We love seeing how teenagers can develop a passion for bringing change to the problems they see around them. Being able to equip and empower them to move into action is one of the most exciting parts of RISE.

Mt Carmel (nursing home Autumn 2015)

While the community initiative project is the end of the RISE Leadership Programme, it is not the end of a students’ RISE journey. At the end of the 10 weeks, we offer anyone who wants to be part of our six week RISE Mentoring Programme. Mentoring allows for further development of a young persons’ school or community engagement.

We were delighted that after working with two classes last term, we have 5 students who want to be part of mentoring after Easter. This one-to-one programme enables us to dig deeper into the leadership goals and dreams that a young person has. We work alongside them as they work out a plan to reach and achieve these goals. It is an exciting time as we begin mentoring these teens in the next two weeks. Watch this space for more stories of teenagers bringing hope to inner city Dublin.

Running for RISE

runamuck 2015 promo

In just a few weeks, a dozen of us will be running through mud and obstacles in Runamuck to help raise support for our RISE Leadership and Mentoring Programme.

Our RISE Leadership Programme began 4 years ago after seeing and hearing the hopelessness in Dublin teenagers’ lives. They voiced a lack of positive thinking about their communities, their feelings that nothing would ever change, and their trouble dreaming of a better future. RISE’s vision is to help equip young teens to become sources of hope in their communities. Hope for a future that is better than what exists now. 2013-11-23 15.24.26Hope for not only their own futures but also, hope for those around them who they go to school with, live with, and call their neighbours.

IMG_4817The programme challenges the young people to think about what it means to be a leader, what qualities make up a good leader, and if they themselves have some of these qualities. The programme then stretches them to look at their community, what they like and do not like about it. They then pick a community initiative to implement positive change. We have seen teenage boys make an anti-bullying video, transition year girls collect bags and bags of clothes for the homeless, a youth group wanting to better encourage those younger than them, and many many more amazingly inspiring projects.

DSCN0584We have facilitated our RISE Leadership
Programme in James Street CBS, a Ballymun youth group, Mount Carmel Secondary School, Mercy Secondary School, St. Catherine’s Church youth group, Ozanam House youth club, and Newpark Comprehensive School. We piloted the RISE Mentoring Programme this past spring in Mount Carmel Secondary School which went very well with great feedback from the mentees and mentors. We are excited to see how RISE continues to grow.

To see it grow, watch this space for more information or email Anne at with any questions.

Help it grow by GIVING HERE. ~

Will you join us in the mud at Runamuck 2015?

On 17 October 12 (so far but we’re looking for more!) intrepid adventurers will be tackling the 5km or 10km of mud and obstacles that is Runamuck in County Kildare. Will you join us?

With around 4000 people taking part Runamuck is great fun and also a great opportunity to raise funds for our RISE programme – providing mentoring and leadership training to teenagers in inner city Dublin.

All we ask is that you commit to raise at least €50 and pay your entrance fee (around €25-€30). If you raise over €120 we’ll refund your entrance fee.

We are aiming to raise €1000. Will you join us by taking on the challenge?

The early booking discount ends on 31 August so if you are interested contact before then!

2014-10-18 13.30.49

On International Women’s Day – Investing in the Next Generation of Female leaders

International Women’s Day presents a perfect opportunity to showcase one of the the incredible teenagers we have the opportunity of working with.. Ashleigh writes: It has been an exciting journey walking along side Rebecca, an 18 year old from Ballyfermot (a challenging area of Dublin, where 29% adults haven’t completed any education past primary school). Rebecca is the first participant in our new RISE mentoring programme. “! really want to learn new skills and build my experiences with teenagers so I can become a youth worker” (Rebecca, 18) Rebecca is committed to influencing teenagers and passing on the experiences she’s had from years of being invested in by others. rebI first met Rebecca about eighteen months ago when she starting coming to church, and I got to know her better when she became a regular attendee at the youth group I lead. Her enthusiasm, maturity, and desire to grow was apparent, and as I got to know her it was clear that she had exciting dreams and plans for her future. Part of these plans are to become a youth worker. Having spent many years involved with various youth projects as a volunteer as well as a member, Rebecca is already well equipped to begin this journey. “It is widely accepted that youth, especially those perceived to be at risk, benefit significantly by having a mentor in their lives” (Mentoring: An investment in Positive Youth Outcomes) Doing life with people and having someone support and walk beside you is something I treasured as a teenager as I navigated my way through the maze of life. To be able to reverse the roles and support teenagers navigate this same path is a real privilege, especially when it comes to mentoring someone like Rebecca. We started our mentoring journey with the goal of Rebecca becoming a RISE volunteer and being part of our schools program. During this time we have also been able to chat through other aspects of what it is like to move through different phases of life, and also practically of getting Rebecca into courses as part of her steps towards youth work. Rebecca’s journey of faith has also been exciting to see. Just a couple of months ago at a youth event Rebecca made a step of faith in becoming a Christian – to be there to witness that was amazing for me. Mentoring can make a huge difference in the lives of teenagers regardless of where they are in their journey. We want to see more young people like Rebecca experience lasting hope and equipped to give back to their community. Over the next few months we’re excited to be partnering with Mount Carmel Secondary School to provide mentoring for some of their transition year girls, investing in even more talented young female leaders. Just 10 new people giving €45 a month would enable us to commit to mentoring more young people like Rebecca and enabling them to be sources of hope in their communities. To give click here.