Camp RISE was launched in June 2022 in collaboration with Employ Milwaukee, the City of Milwaukee, Voices of the Elders, and Milwaukee Public Schools. Camp RISE is a free summer enrichment and career exploration program that aims to provide Milwaukee youth with the tools to become leaders in their community. Campers are 10-13-year-old youth from Milwaukee who spend the six-week program on career and interest exploration, skill building, receiving mentorship, and more. Youth participants also receive a weekly stipend of up to $200 to increase engagement and offer them their "first job" experience.
Jace’s mom Darrian decided to enroll him in Camp RISE last June because she liked that camp was facilitated by older black men. “It’s important to have older men in the community involved with the younger generation.” She said. She was excited for Jace to have the opportunity to learn and grow at Camp RISE. Jace enjoyed his time at camp, especially being able to work within the neighborhood, doing things like community clean-ups. “I liked helping the community”, he said. Jace also loved hearing stories from his mentor. “I loved learning about black history from Deacon Brown [Camp facilitator and member of Voices of the Elders].”
Alongside field trips and community projects, campers also receive essential skill workshops on topics such as financial literacy. Now, almost a year after Camp RISE 2022 ended, Jace has continuously used the financial skills that he learned at Camp RISE. “He is maturing and understands the value of money”, his mom said. “His spending habits have improved, and he is very concerned about the needs of his home, he wants to contribute.” Jace cares very much about his family. He used the money he earned at Camp RISE money to take them out to eat and buy Christmas gifts for them.
Jace has dreams of being an actor and loves music, he currently plays the saxophone. He regularly models, and last December, he had the opportunity to perform in A Christmas Carol with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Jace is just one of the 250 youth Camp RISE will work with this summer.
If you are interested in learning more about Camp RISE and 2024 programming, visit our Camp RISE page!