RIISE Above The Rest!


I had to borrow this quote from my nephew’s t-shirt because it’s in perfect alignment with how RIISE rocks. Having a growth mindset can inspire you to do what most won’t—contemplate and apply for an independent school education. It takes a certain amount of grit to consider and journey through the admission process.

Please understand, I am not suggesting that choosing this educational path somehow makes you better than the rest, though you may be accused of ‘thinking you are’. Instead, it means that your vision is big, and you are brave enough to break away from the status quo. No apologies necessary, particularly when it comes to educating our children. It’s okay to rise, as long as you get what you need to reach back and grab someone else’s hand.

Eleven years ago, I shared my last quarter projections with my boss at Meredith Corporation. It included a post script stating the number of hours I would need to be away from the office for the independent school admission process. I wasn’t sure what his response would be, but what I did know was that along the chain of command one of his bosses took time to get her children into an independent school. And, I was determined to do the same. Thanks Chuck for being flexible!

What does rising above the rest look like?

  • At the time, rising above the rest meant taking a risk with my employment: late mornings or early evenings dedicated to going on school tours, attending admission receptions, and showing up for school interviews in hopes, no guarantees, that my child(ren) would earn a seat in an independent school.

  • As a family applying to independent schools, rising above the rest meant trusting our own gut instincts when searching for the right educational and cultural fit among the many schools we looked at, instead of relying on what we heard, or even saw.


  • Rising above the rest meant not sharing my dreams of an independent school education with naysayers. You know who they are. They show up at just the wrong time, looking to dash away any notion of non-conformity. Going against the grain will trigger well-intentioned (we hope) folks to question your decision for many reasons. Educational choice is personal, and does not warrant a challenge nor an explanation, just support and well-wishes.


  • While independent schools represent a first class education, they also represent the racial, social and economic disparities of our educational systems. Once enrolled in an independent school though, I believe that rising above the rest means accepting a certain level of responsibility in partnering with schools to advocate for equity and social justice issues. No matter what the landscape looks like we must rise.


  • So, rise above the rest is exactly what I did when I moved on from corporate gigs to social justice entrepreneurship. I am so grateful that RIISE offers me the freedom to reach back, encouraging and guiding more families of color to join my family and others rocking it out at independent schools.

Best of luck families! 

Rock the process with us and Register for: RIISE Roadmap Workshop Series {November 2 & November 10} https://riiseroadmapseries16.eventbrite.com

Resources In Independent School Education… helping families of color build bridges with independent schools RIISE with us: www.4riise.org | facebook.com/4riise | twitter.com/4riise

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