As of 2017, just over 10,000 Genesee County residents between the ages of 16 and 24 were neither working nor attending school. However, there is a resource that can help put these disengaged young adults on the right path.
R.I.S.E.—which stands for reset, inspire, stand up and energize—is a young-adult led group for disengaged youth ages 16-24. Each month, the group holds a “Meet & Eat” session, which connects members to resources, brings in local experts and highlights opportunities to get involved in the community. It helps students stay in school, earn their GED, and connect with employment programs and area employers.
“R.I.S.E. aims to be a resource for young adults who want to get on the right path—whether that be through education or employment,” says Dennis Williams-Mitchell, Education & Training Youth Ambassador and coordinator of R.I.S.E. “We work directly with our group members to solve individual problems.”
R.I.S.E. is a project of the Flint & Genesee Opportunity Youth Coalition, a group of more than 60 local partners committed to breaking down barriers that young adults in Flint and Genesee County may face. The coalition members meet regularly to discuss the resources they can offer these young people.
“It is great to be able to partner with local organizations to find holistic solutions to the problems our young adults face,” says Williams-Mitchell, a 20-year-old attending Mott Community College. “Being a peer with the group members, I can relate to the struggles they are facing and help inspire them to find their right path with the group’s help.”
Aside from providing assistance, R.I.S.E. also works to give back through community projects. The group is currently working on hosting a voter registration event to provide young people in the community a convenient way to register to vote.
R.I.S.E. holds monthly meetings the third Thursday of each month at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village (4119 N. Saginaw St., Flint). Young adults ages 16-24 who are interested in attending can find more information at opportunityflintandgenesee.org/events.