Established March 2020
RISE Philadelphia is a virtual tutoring program that was founded by a group of medical students across Philadelphia at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Millions of students across the world were forced to adapt to an uncertain in-home online curriculum and so graduate school students came together to provide one-on-one virtual tutoring sessions to support Philadelphia and South Jersey students’ transition to this new remote learning environment.
We believe this unprecedented time is having a long-lasting impact on our community, especially communities in Philadelphia and South Jersey where students prior to virtual learning had to navigate barriers to graduate high school and reach post-secondary education. We created a longitudinal program to provide free tutoring, mentoring, and companionship to K-12 Philadelphia and South Jersey students to help students achieve their goals of succeeding in the classroom, passing state-wide standardized tests, and graduating high school. Each student is paired with a local graduate student who provides academic assistance and supports the student’s individual graduation needs.
RISE Philly started as a pilot program with five K-12 schools in Philadelphia for the 2020-2021 school year and has since expanded to become a 501c3 nonprofit with students from ten different K-12 schools in Philadelphia and South Jersey for the 2021-2022 school year. We are a club at five medical schools and expanding to other medical schools and graduate school programs. We are partnered with various other nonprofits including Together for West Philadelphia, Bridging the Gap, Locke University, and others to empower our community in a multitude of ways.
As a city-wide effort, undergraduate and graduate students from several institutions throughout the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey Area have joined hands with us to provide online tutoring and mentoring services on a voluntary basis. We are also grateful to have support from educators in the School District of Philadelphia and South Jersey and community service advisors from several medical schools in our city. Our partners have played a vital role in guiding us during the development of this organization.