Ready to Rise 2

Ready to Rise


Ready to Rise is a leadership development program that trains and supports cohorts of diverse, first-generation students attending two- and four-year public colleges. Its uniquely tailored model integrates cohort-based learning, near-peer mentoring, and career supports, serving the next generation of urban leaders focused on community-centered service.

Ready to RiseThe Model

  • Powerful training in leadership, time-management, financial literacy and other helpful topics
  • Organized activities that help participants establish a community of friends who share their vision for leadership in their communities
  • A supportive mentor in the first year and a chance to return the favor in the second
  • Internship and career support as participants prepare for life and leadership after college
  • Networking opportunities with leaders and professionals in participants’ home community

In partnership with local affiliates, Ready to Rise has supported 284 students from three Washington communities attending seven colleges and universities over its first three years. Learn more about our Ready to Rise network.

Initial Outcomes


first generation or low-income, 87% students of color


return to second year of college, significantly higher than a matched comparison group


volunteer on campus or in their communities

Andrea’s Story

When Andrea joined Ready to Rise, her goal was to gain more confidence as a public speaker. She knew it would be an important skill to develop but didn’t know where to find the training and mentorship to do so. As she pursued public speaking…

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Marianne’s Story

Marianne is a freshman at the University of Washington Tacoma who is passionate about empowering the next generation. Her dream is to educate young people with the tools and resources to engage the systemic inequalities that they see in their community as a High School…

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Ready to Rise


Ready to Rise expands the reach of Degrees of Change’s leadership programs to include visionary community leaders attending public colleges and universities. Learn more at the Ready to Rise website.
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*Important Act Six Update*Read the Press Release