Interview with On the Rise

Located in a unique country setting on an eight acre farm just outside of Springfield, Ohio, On-The-Rise serves at-risk youth in Clark County struggling with family, social, educational, and behavioral issues. Read more about On-The-Rise in our Q&A interview below:


Explain your mission and how you were founded:

On-The-Rise is a non-profit that helps at-risk youth in Clark County.  The organization is a year-round program which promotes responsibility, compassion, work ethic and positive self-image by getting back to basics in a working farm setting.

On-The-Rise was opened in 2002 by founders Debbie McCullough and Cathy Tofstad.  Realizing that youth needed positive out lets and the ability to shine in many different ways. By creating a multi- sensory program with many different facets to it, youth can find what they're good at and make positive changes.

Describe the programs you offer:

On-The-Rise offers years round programs for youth: after-school programs that promotes healthy lifestyles, from dinner, cooking, gardening, sewing, and caring for animals on the farm. We also partner with many community organizations to give our youth a well rounded education. During the school year we partner with WittenbergUniversity to assist our youth with tutors and mentors, for homework and one on one help as needed.

Summer programming is from 9-12 daily, we offer many different off the farm experiences, and a summer reading program working comprehension and the world around us.

On-The-Rise also has a 4-H Club in Clark County, projects ranging from, goats, chickens, turkey, art, gardening, archery.

On-The-Rise is the oldest vendor at the Springfield Farmers Market (about 10 years), the reason we started years ago was to teach employment skills off the farm. Once we see that a youth has made enough progress at the farm with social skills and behavior the youth are encouraged to work.  They have to get there and on time, and be able to answer questions about how our animals are raised. They learn to make change correctly.  The youth do earn money for attending.

Benefits for our community is that they are able to obtain, fresh local meats and eggs that have been raised right and with love. This helps teach our youth social skills and a positive light in the community.

The Wittenberg Community Service Program provides numerous opportunities, not only for our youth in homework help but being mentors for your youth. Hopefully seeing themselves there one day. Gamma Phi Betagirls have adopted our girls program as "little sisters" and they come out to the farm, tour the campus, and all so have our girls work events with them.  This is a win-win program for On-The-Rise.

How can the community get involved:

On-The-Rise is such an open door for this community, opportunity for helping is endless - anything from a reading buddy for a child, to job tours, cooking, to a craft to share. Help with fundraisers, or possible office work.


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