RISE-DC was founded in 2003 by Paul Penniman, a career educator who left a lucrative tutoring business to work with low-income students in Washington, D.C. RISE aims to level the educational playing field in Washington by providing the same high-quality educational resources to low-income students that are available to students of means.
RISE provides academic tutoring to over 200 students per year. Nearly all these students graduate from high school, and many go on to higher education. RISE's College Prep Plus program has helped 44 students enroll in college and has supported these students through their college sophomore year. The students in the College Prep Plus program have graduated or are on track to graduate at a 69% rate, much higher than the 14% rate that is the national average for low-income students.
For its tutoring programs, RISE hires only experienced professionals, abiding by the philosophy that the more a student is in need, the more experienced the instruction needs to be.