Student Involvement

Student Advisory Board (SAB)

The RISE Student Advisory Board (SAB) increases the level of student involvement in the program. The SAB is comprised of students who want to assume leadership in the program and contribute to further developing and enhancing the program.

The SAB attends meetings weekly meetings with the program director and coaches to provide an update on the SAB activities and to present recommendations from the student body. In addition to advocacy issues, the SAB is responsible for developing and planning social activities and community service events for students. Students who serve on the RISE SAB receive a supplement to their book award. The SAB has stimulated student involvement and led to improved communication between the program director and students.

2017-2018 SAB

  • Oluwatobi Ajimoko (President)
  • Christopher Mathis (Vice President)
  • IsaLynn Montgomery (Secretary)
  • Jeffrey Onyeardor (Sophmore Class Rep)



2016-17 SAB

  • Uzoma (Uzi) Ahiarakwe (President)
  • Zuri Kent-Smith (Vice President)
  • Kaosi Anyanwa (Secretary)
  • Anna Ikejiani (Historian)
  • Kyle Wyche (Sophomore Class Rep)

2015-2016 First Year Shining Stars

The Shine Star awards are given annually to first-year students (freshmen) who embody the mission of RISE. In the short time that these students have been a part of RISE, they have become bright shining lights in the program and will be influential members in shaping the future of RISE.

  • Warren Austin
  • Anika Jones
  • Lauryn Hood
  • Alexis Whitaker
  • Kyle Wyche
  • Khadijah Adamu
  • Jocelyn Paul

2015-2016 Stand-Out Students

Stand-out Students are upperclassmen who exemplify what it means to be a RISE student. They are hard working, dedicated to upholding the standards of the RISE program, and show a great commitment to RISE in their daily lives. These students are active in the RISE community and its events. They have an excellent work ethic, are always willing to help others, and constantly have positive influence on not only the RISE community but the University community. 

  • Ogechukwu Opaigbeogu
  • Kayla Williams
  • Chichi Adeleke
  • Charisse Pearson-Bey
  • Ademusoyo Awosika-Olumo
  • Charles Ireland
  • Collette Harding
  • Nicole Njuguna
  • India Hunter
  • Ashley Brown

Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC)

The OCC curriculum is fully integrated into RISE and students are expected to participate. Each year, RISE students attend an OCC orientation to learn about the purpose and benefits of participation. RISE also encourages students to get involved in student organizations or other outside-the-classroom experiences.

Community Service

Community service plays an integral role in the RISE experience with the goal of helping students understand their responsibility to others. The Student Advisory Board sponsors community service events throughout the academic year including but not limited to participation in Pitt Make a Difference Day, Family House, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and LIVING Ministry. Each student is expected to complete at least five hours of community service per semester and track his or her hours in NobleHour.

RISE Forums

RISE students are encouraged to participate in our Male and Female Forums.  These groups meet weekly to facilitate discussions among participants about psychosocial issues that can impede their successful academic ventures inside and outside the classroom. Forum outcomes include improved communication, planning, and critical thinking skills, and an increased awareness of issues related to social justice and civic responsibility. Learn More.

RISE Annual 5K

In partnership with the University’s Healthy U initiative, RISE sponsors an annual 5K at Southside Trails to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Not only does this event contribute to the fight against blood cancer, it brings together the University community and RISE students by creating an environment of health and wellness with a common goal for all. 

RISE Annual Retreat

The annual retreat for the Fall 2016 will be the weekend of September 24, 2016. Check back for more details.