Heightening tensions and social discord have struck the nation intensely. David Lenard, one of the founders of RISE, wanted to do something about this.
David attended a town hall meeting, where he was introduced to Aaron Edgley, a community-man with many connections to other youth non-profit organizations. After hearing the many experiences involving racism, police brutality, poverty, homelessness, neglect, and drug abuse that other local non-profit organizations and small businesses were facing, both David and Aaron felt a need to discover a place to foster racial harmony.
Aaron grew up in Maryland, where he benefited from mentors at a teen non-profit group who provided him with after school programs, and summer sports programs. David Lenard became especially interested in understanding Aaron’s experience with this program; as he currently provides case management work at a local at-risk youth organization.
Following the town hall meeting, and after long conversation, Aaron and David committed to each other that they would work on a solution to the issues discussed in the meeting. After weeks of brainstorming had passed, both decided that a youth mentoring program was exactly what Southern Utah needed.
The massive need in St. George for an after school drop-in facility for at-risk youth was immeasurable. David and Aaron visioned the organization to be a perfect place for youth to have basics provided for them such as food, clothing, and a safe space to belong.
Brandon Turner, another local youth advocate at Southwest Behavioral Health Center, expressed commitment to assist in developing and overseeing the program. With the help of all three men, and their commitment to serve young people in the community, they were able to establish RISE: an evidence-based life skills program to serve at-risk youth.
The three men are confident that regular youth participation will enhance discipline, self-confidence, and overall life functionality. The key areas of focus include life skills, financial literacy, education reinforcement, career discovery, and physical and emotional growth.
The RISE foundation has come a long way, and the three men are happy to announce the grand opening of the facility. Any community support is welcomed. Please explore more of the website, and follow us on Instagram @risestgeorge. Thanks for following along!
Every young person has an authentic path. Not every young person finds their way onto that path.
We empower them to commit to an individual path towards growth, autonomy and accomplishment.
MEET OUR TEAM
Aaron's inspiration to encourage and mentor young people stems from his desire to reciprocate the time and attention provided by the great influences he had while growing up near Baltimore, Maryland.
As an advocate of personal growth mindset, Aaron hopes to create a culture within RISE that emphasizes accountability, cooperation and mindfulness.
Aaron is an active participant in the Saint George community. He currently serves as Member of the Board of Trustees for the DOVE Center, supports the students at Dixie State University as an adjunct professor, and also consults as a Commercial Real Estate Advisor for NAI Excel.
Born in Los Angeles, California, David takes pride in his ability to persevere through adversity to achieve his goals. He embraces every opportunity to teach, motivate and empower the youth around him.
Currently a student at Dixie State University pursuing a degree in criminal justice with an emphasis in criminology, and a communications minor, one of David's main points of emphasis within the juvenile field is the behavioral science needed to understand youth and their behaviors and actions.
David has an impressive track record with the youth, stemming from his willingness to take initiative towards leadership roles, being present with them, and learning as much as possible. He has experience working with a wide range of clients with mental health disabilities, and behavioral and social health inadequacies. David is currently working as a youth counselor at a local correctional facility.
Brandon’s eagerness to motivate and uplift youth comes from his life experiences of growing up in South Los Angeles, California. Residing around many less fortunate youth, Brandon came to understand how to navigate around the things that deter kids from reaching their highest potential - such as gang activity, drugs and violence. Having been mentored while he was a teenager, Brandon is a living example of what having great mentors can produce.
Brandon has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with an emphasis in criminology from Dixie State University, where he also played football for four years. Brandon has five years experience developing youth while working at Chrysalis as well as Dixie Area Detention Center. Brandon is currently a Mental Health Court Case Manager at Southwest Behavioral Health Center and resides in Washington.
Develop well-rounded youth