RISE program keeps teens from reoffending

Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

16–year–old Dyani Mesa wants nothing more than to get a job.

But she knows there’s one thing that could get in the way; she’s on probation.

"It’s hard to get a job at my age, but my age and on probation, it get’s harder,” Dyani Mesa, junior at Lincoln High said.

But after participating in the RISE program, her resume is done.

She knows how to fill out applications and she’s a little more confident.

Thanks to a program meant to do just that.

"We help youth build life skills in education and employment,” said Karly Trotter, RISE specialist.

Trotter said this program isn’t for every kid on probation. After a juvenile gets into the probation system they take a survey that highlights at risk areas in the teen’s life.

"Education and employment is one of those areas and a lot of youth are high in risk and could use some resources,” Trotter said.

Dyani was referred into the program which teaches study tips, job readiness and other skills that keep youth from reoffending.

Trotter said participants who finish the program have a ten percent less chance of reoffending.

Mesa said not only is the program keeping her out of trouble, but also gives her an edge above others looking for jobs.

"Really does build much needed skills,” Mesa said. “At some point you will need to look for a job and fill out a resume."

Employers should know, Trotter said, that with the RISE program under their belts, these teens are ready to take on the workforce.

"If you see probation youth on an application you get, you should consider them because they have really great skills and the mistake they got caught for shouldn’t limit their possibilities,” Trotter said.

Mesa said she’s looking for a job right now, hopefully one that will let her work with animals.

"I think it’s gonna be easier with the knowledge that I have now,” Mesa said.