What is Rise Above?

Rise Above is a Trauma-Informed, Social-Emotional Learning and Substance Use Prevention Program. Our program utilizes social-emotional learning, in efforts to help youth cultivate life skills to help them overcome and thrive.

Rise Above helps teens

  • Develop healthy coping skills to understand and manage their thoughts and feelings

  • Enhance life skills and adaptive self-control

  • Promote healthy relationships, effective communication skills, and mutual respect

  • Learn the skills and values needed to cultivate a drug-free life

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Rise Above is organized into four units to promote positive youth development and enhance students’ life skills.

Unit 1: Mastering Your Thoughts and Feelings

This unit is all about recognizing and identifying emotions within yourself and others. Lessons within this unit will focus on the way emotions and thoughts impact behaviors, as well as the part that stress and life challenges can play in that relationship. Students will also learn and practice methods to help manage their thoughts and feelings.

Unit 2: Boosting Your Greatest Inner Strength

This unit is all about methods for improving one’s self. The lessons in this unit focus on goal-setting, self-control, decision-making skills, and self-affirmations. Students will learn how utilizing these elements can improve their situations and outlooks on life. 

Unit 3: Building Healthy Relationships

Here, human connections are everything. In this unit, students will learn about inclusive behaviors, communication skills, qualities of healthy and unhealthy relationships, and appreciation for diversity. Students will learn how these elements interact to build and improve upon the human relationships in their lives, as well as how these relationships impact others.

Unit 4: Living a Drug-Free Life

Knowledge is power. Within this unit, students will learn everything they need to know about internal and external pressures to use alcohol and other drugs. Lessons focus on ways to resist pressure and desires to use illicit substances. Overall, this unit helps students build a toolkit of ways to prevent or abstain in efforts to achieve a drug-free life.

Who can participate?

11-18

years

old

youth

per group

6-8

14-16

sessions

50

minutes/

session

RISE ABOVE Program

Virginia Commonwealth University

School of Social Work

Innovation in Child and Family Wellness Research Group

1000 Floyd Avenue 

Richmond, VA 23284

Email: ubet@vcu.edu

Call: 804-827-0156

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