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2021 Rise Together New Mexico Executive Summary

2021 Rise Together New Mexico Executive Summary

Project Rise Together is an ongoing initiative to help the less fortunate, as well as being an opportunity to connect with others while being in an outdoor environment. The week of June 13-19 was our second big trip. A total of 18 youth from Children of the King, 21 youth from ACAN, and 12 adult leaders drove to Loma Verde, a camp in Taos, New Mexico. Thanks to generous donations from many ACAN members, support from the Board and youth’s parents, we were able to run this program successfully.

After the week was over, many youth were talking about how it was the best week ever, and parents were noticing the change and fun their children had. ACAN participants started looking forward to visiting COK’s center, and for future Rise Together/ACAN events so they could connect with their friends again.

Key Accomplishments:

  1. Cross-cultural interactions. The very goal of Rise Together is to enable kids of different backgrounds to get to know each other, and that was exactly what was accomplished. By having a whole week together, we were able to learn about how the COK kids grew up, and get to connect with them on a deeper level.
  2. Fun outdoor adventures. We had many activities such as hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, and white water rafting. Not only were they fun, but they allowed for kids to learn how to trust others and overcome their fears.
  3. Fostering friendship. Lifelong relationships were created between both ACAN and ACAN kids, but also ACAN and COK kids. Even in the midst of the pandemic, after a year of little to no social activity, these youth were able to find people whom they didn’t have much in common with and become friends.
  4. Leadership Development. This trip encouraged youth to step up, lead, and help others, and in return, a core team for future Rise Together projects were created. With this creative and dedicated group, we will be able to host many more great projects in the future.
  5. Safety and Health. There were no serious injuries, and no one got COVID or any sort of sickness.

Things to Improve:

  1. Boundaries. In the future we should have more clear and enforced guidelines between campers to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and decency.
  2. Fundraising. To make sure our donation will be matched, we need to double check our eligibility before we launch our fundraising campaign. We should also empower our youth leaders to raise funds year round. 
  3. Food. Although the camp food is good, next year we could host a “Chinese dinner day,” cooked by a team of ACAN youth and parents, for everyone!

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