Rise Together to Bring New Student Organization to Chilton


Rise Together’s Vice President of Operations Ms. Nadine Machkovech speaks with the CHS student body in the Engler Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Mental Health Wellness Festival held in March.

Karin Juhl

On November 10, Rise Together, an organization focused on preventing addiction and advocating the importance of mental health, will give a virtual presentation to CHS to introduce a new program called The RAISE Project.

“The RAISE Project was created out of the fundamental principles of gratitude, community and self-care,” said the project’s co-creator Ms. Nadine Machkovech, who is also the Vice President of Operations for Rise Together. The project is a youth-led program designed to create a positive space in schools and communities.

“This is a great opportunity for students to educate their communities on risk behaviors in collaboration with a nationally recognized organization,” said Mr. Tim Trace, the CHS dean of students and an English teacher, who is helping to organize this project. “This opportunity promotes positive changes in perceptions and decision-making for teens.”

After the presentation, CHS students will have a chance to sign up, and 10-12 students will be selected to be a part of The RAISE Project team. The group will have weekly meetings beginning later in November.

Students will be able to participate in a variety of events throughout the school year. They will be able to raise awareness about substance abuse and mental health and lead their community in changing the stigma around pressures that can lead to unhealthy choices.

“I am looking forward to empowering Chilton High School into being a positive environment for all students at school,” said Ms. Hannah Wilz, a youth coordinator for the REACH county program, an organization that focuses on reducing alcohol, nicotine and other substance misuse in the community. She will be helping facilitate The RAISE Project in Chilton this year. She also helped Stockbridge High School start the first part of this project last year before it was cut short due to COVID-19.

Stockbridge was able to complete the first part of the project: RAISEkindness. Students wrote personalized compliments on everyone’s lockers and were planning to put up a gratitude board in the cafeteria.

As well as RAISEkindness, Chilton plans to complete RAISEawareness and RAISEvoices. Ms. Wilz said she is most excited about RAISEvoices, which will give students a chance to share their own stories. “Although one of the hardest and scariest things to do, it will help connect students to not feeling alone in their own struggles,” Wilz said.

The creators of The RAISE Project are a part of Rise Together, a non-profit organization based out of Appleton. According to their website, WeAllRiseTogether.org, Rise Together was created to “ignite a youth-led movement that is helping to save lives by encouraging students to stand up and speak out on the issues they care most about.”

Since the organization was created in 2013, Rise Together has reached out to over 200,000 youth in over 240 schools across the Midwest. They hope to break the silence around bullying, suicide, mental illness and substance abuse.