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Camp RISE Spotlight: Donovan

"I am joyful. I am smart. I am brilliant."  

These affirmations belong to 13-year-old Donovan, a participant at Camp RISE this summer. Donovan initially applied to Camp RISE just for the money, but he ended up getting much more out of camp than just a paycheck. 

Throughout the summer, Donovan learned about future career opportunities. His favorite field trip was to Jones Island, Milwaukee’s primary wastewater treatment plant. Donovan enjoyed learning about what goes on at the treatment plant and how the water is cleaned. “It made me think about a future career in water works.” Donovan said. 

Camp RISE gave Donovan the opportunity to not only go on exciting field trips, but he also learned important life lessons from his counselors. 

Donovan’s group focused on learning to support each other. “We shouldn’t be bullying others, or making fun. We should be building each other up, being respectful,” Donovan said.  

Donovan particularly looked up to one of his counselors, Jaymes Warrior. Jaymes was invested in Donovan and their group: “Donovan was an over-achieving camper since day one; from being the first to participate to being our group captain multiple weeks in a row. He always showed up with a smile on his face and always stood out. I had a lot of fun not only guiding him but also learning from him along the way.”  

“I am thankful to have been accepted to Camp RISE.” Donovan said. Camp RISE received applications from nearly 1,000 kids with only 250camper spots available. This fact was not unknown by Donovan’s group. They renamed their group “The Chosen Ones” to remind themselves that for each of them, there were dozens of kids who wanted to be in their shoes. 

Camp RISE expands horizons and provides career exploration opportunities while building up the next generation of Milwaukee leaders. This year, Donovan and his fellow campers created their own mission statement for Camp RISE: 

“We rise up, above our circumstances, through our challenges, beyond our fears and negative behavior to build a better tomorrow, and a better future for years to come.” 


If you are interested in learning more about Camp RISE and 2024 programming, visit our Camp RISE page! To support youth like Donovan in Camp RISE, visit our Sponsorships & Donations page.

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