Founded by Thayer alumnus and history teacher Rob Dixon ‘79 P’03,‘16 in 1993, Project RISE (Respect, Integrity, and Success through Education) is an academic enrichment program which runs both in the summer and during the school year.
Each summer approximately 100 students of color come from the Boston metro area to Thayer Academy to attend small classes and receive individualized instruction over a 7-week period. Students participate in cultural enrichment activities to foster self efficacy as well as other afternoon activities which provide a creative, fun, and engaging environment of discovery and learning. On Fridays, students go on field trips with the goal of fun and community building. Past field trips have included Sky Zone, Showtime Cinema, LaserTag, and Canobie Lake Park. Guest speaker forums have included prominent community leaders sharing their stories of resilience and success. Notable past speakers include attorney John J. Hightower; Keith Motley, Ph.D, Chancellor Emeritus of UMass-Boston; and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
Many of the students who attend Project RISE excel in Mathematics and English and return to their schools with increased self-esteem and a renewed love of learning.
Project RISE Timeline
Summer of 1993: Project RISE is founded as an experimental pilot program for 17 at-risk young men. Participants engage in a six-week academic and cultural enrichment program intended to provide positive alternatives for their futures. Staff consist of a combination of private school teachers, public school teachers, college students (serving as counselors), and volunteer tutors. The early focus is literacy, math, and study/organizational skills with several extracurricular activities including art, dance, aerobics, swimming, photography, and woodworking.
1994: Project RISE becomes a co-ed program. It has been so ever since.
2002: Project RISE creates its high school program, which accepts 22 students.
2017: Project RISE officially becomes part of Thayer Academy.
Project RISE Student Demographics
Students come from a diverse pool of academic environments, including: