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About RISE

The story of RISE began in 2010 when community member Dan Leach approached the college with an opportunity to push the educational envelope around innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability. RISE was generously funded by the Community First Foundation through the Leach Family Donor Advised Fund from 2010-2013. Xcel Foundation and Walmart have also supported RISE. The work of RISE has impacted students and faculty at Red Rocks Community College, Jeffco Public Schools and Colorado School of Mines. The Colorado Community College System named RISE as an Outstanding Educational Program, and Senator Mark Udall praised RISE and Red Rocks students for effort in creating a modern innovative workforce.

RISE Values:

  • Self-directed learning
  • Entrepreneurial mindsets
  • Design-thinking
  • Sustainability
  • Lifelong learning


RISE partners with local business and industry professionals as clients, mentors, and technical experts. RISE also cultivates relationships with innovators and entrepreneurs as sources of inspiration and experience to create the next generation of problem-solvers.