picture of RISE employees


RISE provides on-site mentoring and support for FHS Students

This fall, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI), Faribault Youth Investment, HealthFinders, Carlton College and Faribault Public Schools Community Education are partnering on a program that’s providing on-site mentoring and support for Faribault High School students.

The RISE (Realizing Individual Student Excellence) program fills the role previously held by Check and Connect, but as a community-wide collaboration is able to serve more students. RISE coordinators Hanan Mohamud and Jaunita Picazo, as well as AmeriCorps Promise Fellow Nora Scultz, are able to regularly check in with about 80 FHS students on topics ranging from attendance, family outreach and mental/chemical health to academic support, ACT prep and college/career exploration. RISE has reached out to specific students that may need support, but the program is available to all students.
“Our goal is to provide the necessary support for every student in Faribault Public Schools to be successful in school, graduate and be hopeful about their future as they pursue the college or career of their choice,” FHS assistant principal Shawn Peck said. “We are fortunate to be in a community where so many people feel that the success of our young people will lead to our community thriving in the future.”

Scultz was immediately interested in the opportunity the RISE program gave her to help students succeed.

“I think the chance to help students that might not have the opportunities or resources available to them really stuck with me because I always had so many supporters,” she said. “I just wanted to pay it forward and do what others have done for me.”

Mohamud, a 2014 Faribault High School alum, graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in psychology. She sees the RISE program as a great opportunity to gain experience working in a mentorship role.

“When I was going to Faribault High School, it would have been nice to have something that would get me where I wanted to go. As a first-generation college student I felt like I didn’t know what to do, so it’s nice to have a group to support you,” she said. “We provide students with a place to hang out and feel like you’re understood, and that you have a voice to advocate for you.”

Picazo has worked in the school district as an EL para and as a security monitor. She’s eager to continue to serve in a role that benefits Faribault students.

“We as a team are very excited to be that gap between the students and teachers, administrators, and counselors,” she said. “We are here for any student that is facing a barrier in their life to reach their goals for graduating and on to college.” 

During hybrid learning, the RISE staff will continue to meet with students in-person and reach out through home visits, phone calls, Schoology and other virtual platforms.