RISE, a teen leadership development program serving 6th-9th graders in the City of Chester, PA kicked off it’s second year with the RISE Summit on Saturday, January 31st. RISE, run by the Andrew L. Hicks, Jr. Foundation in partnership with CCWA Paradise Farm Camps, develops leadership through fostering personal Responsibility, Integrity, providing opportunities for Service, and instilling an expectation of Excellence in its participants; of themselves and of their community.
Almost 40 Chester students participated in the one-day Summit, held at Chester Charter School for the Arts in Aston, PA. Many of the children have been in the Warrior Guide program for the past two years and are transitioning into this teen leadership development program. Devon Rembert was the keynote speaker. Devon is the author of the blog, “God Vibes”. He is also an educator and motivator impacting change in those around him. He has committed his life to helping people become better versions of themselves. He shared some of his struggles with the students and reminded them that although their path might not always be direct in reaching their goals, the side routes are what make the journey unique.
Next the students coursed through three break out sessions, all led by Paradise Farm Camps instructors. Scott Stickling, RISE Coordinator taught a lesson about Responsibility, helping the students understand the process and how they can effectively apply it to five key areas within their everyday lives. James Mora, PFC Educational Director, introduced the topic of Integrity, and had the students anomimously answer questions about how they behave when no one is looking, and then together they defined integrity and discussed how that concept applies to their lives. PFC Camp Director, Rick Kone, led a session on Service, inquiring about the group’s desire to serve their community and what simple things we can do to serve society and the impact it can make.
In between sessions the kids had pretzels and water, but after a very enriching afternoon, they enjoyed a delicious and nutritious dinner, catered by Italian Brothers of Chester, PA. Their educators joined them for the meal and so did the members of the panel discussion who were set to speak next.
Panel discussion participants included: Dr. Timothy Brown, Professor/Department Chair at West Chester University; Ms. Carmen Lesesne, Assistant Principal at Henderson High School; Mr. Devon Rembert, University Administrator at Temple University; Mr. Rob Smith, Vice President of Soccer Development with the Philadelphia Union; and Latiaynna Tabb, Social Relations Professional. All five of the guests shared their background and history as well as their insights on how they became the leaders that they are. They were all motivational and encouraging to the teens in the room. RISE is so grateful for their selfless participation and the inspiration that they were to the students.
The evening ended with a terrific game of Musical Minute To Win It! Everyone enjoyed the levity and the chance to get to know each other a little better. The RISE kids come from all different schools in Chester so this time for socializing was very important.
Chester Charter School for the Arts
Italian Brothers Catering
Dr. Tim Brown