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Caltech Y RISE provides college help

Juliana D. Norwood | 9/1/2010, 5 p.m.

Caltech Y is a non-profit organization that was founded by Caltech students in 1916 and was formerly affiliated with the California Institute of Technology. The Y was organized to provide extracurricular activities planned and implemented by students in order to learn leadership skills and discover themselves. The mission of today's Y remains the same--to provide opportunities that will prepare students to become engaged, responsible citizens of the world. The Y seeks to broaden students' worldviews, raise social, ethical, and cultural awareness through teamwork, community engagement, activism, and leadership.

This unique organization supplements and complements the academics of the institute by providing a variety of co-curricular events and activities for all campus members. Programs generally fall within five categories: Educational programs, outdoor adventures, community service, social activities and cultural events.

One program that Caltech has incorporated into the Y that is making a difference in the community is RISE (Reaffirming and Increasing Scholastic Endeavors). This is a campaign to assist and inspire low-income youth in the Pasadena Unified School District to strive towards college success by tutoring students in math and science.

The program offers weekly tutoring on the Caltech campus to students who demonstrate a need in the areas of math and science. Tutoring is provided by Caltech students and includes both skills review and homework help components, after the students commit to remaining in the program for an entire year.

The only requirements are that the students go to school in the Pasadena School District in grades eight through 12; have a C+ or lower in math and science, have a desire to raise their grade to a B or above, and a desire to graduate from a four-year college.

RISE recently held a benefit concert put on by Melodies in Action, a music outreach and community service program founded by Caltech junior Jennifer Ma. The program is comprised of student volunteers who want to share their music with the community. The group frequently holds concerts at retirement homes with the help of students from other local schools, and helps host benefit concerts for other charitable organizations.

Although the RISE benefit concert was free, all donations collected were given to Caltech Y to support the tutoring program. For more information on the RISE program, contact (323) 395-3180.