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PVCC RISE group inspires students

Frank+Eisenhauer-+Founder%26+President%0AAdam+Ramsower-+Vice+President%0ATripti+Choudury-+Secretary%0ALouie+Murillo-Community+Engagement%0AJaqueline-+Community+Engagement
Frank Eisenhauer- Founder& President
Adam Ramsower- Vice President
Tripti Choudury- Secretary
Louie Murillo-Community Engagement
Jaqueline- Community Engagement

Frank Eisenhauer- Founder& President Adam Ramsower- Vice President Tripti Choudury- Secretary Louie Murillo-Community Engagement Jaqueline- Community Engagement

Frank Eisenhauer- Founder& President Adam Ramsower- Vice President Tripti Choudury- Secretary Louie Murillo-Community Engagement Jaqueline- Community Engagement

Jared Duroe, Staff writer

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Current Paradise Valley Community College students Frank Eisenhauer and Adam
Ramsower met in prison, where they were inspired to create a recovery-based group together.
Out of this inspiration came the birth of RISE, a group which focuses on the general issues
surrounding recovery in its many forms. RISE was founded by Eisenhauer and Ramsower on the
PVCC campus in the January of 2017. During his time behind bars, Eisenhauer (who’s the President of the group) discovered a newfound sense of spirituality and began to see life in a different light.

In a promotional video for RISE, Eisenhauer said, “I got out of prison in 2015 and was
just looking to share what I had learned through my adversities and transformation spiritually. It
was a definite divine intervention and it was like a light switch. I lived a very dark life before
going to prison and I woke up in a jail cell. I opened up a Bible and started reading some
scripture and it clicked; I’m not alone and I don’t have to die this way. I was in jail, but I had
never been happier, ever.”

On his inspiration for starting RISE, Eisenhauer said in the same video, “I started
attending college here and it just felt really natural. Actually, my partner (Ramsower) and I, we
did time together. We talked about it in prison, you know, like ‘hey, let’s go to college when we
get out and do this and share what we learned in here.’”

Along with his own personal experience, Ramsower was motivated to start RISE by his
desire to erase the stigma surrounding addiction and those who struggle with it.
Regarding the treatment of addicts by the criminal justice system, who are often
incarcerated, Ramsower said, “It’s the opposite of what they should do. Rehabilitation should be
the focus. We want to help change the culture.”

RISE used to be an acronym that had multiple meanings. At one point, it stood for
Revolutionary Ideas for Student Empowerment, and at another point, it also stood for Recovery
Inspired Student Empowerment. Now, however, there is no acronym. The group refers to itself
simply as RISE. This shift in the specific meaning of the group’s name is a reflection of its
ongoing evolution.

RISE is not a social support group in the vein of other recovery-oriented organizations
like Alcoholics Anonymous. Instead of being based on AA’s 12-step program, which is
directed solely at those who wish to stop drinking alcohol, RISE is focused more on the idea of
recovery itself, regardless of what a person may be recovering from. Tripti Choudhury, a member of RISE, said, “We’re more of a nontraditional recovery group.” Recently, her focus within the group has been on building an official website and designing a logo. “My biggest thing is that we get organized,” she said.

The group is available to anyone who wishes to find resources to aid in their respective
recoveries, whether it’s from an addiction, eating disorder, sexual trauma/abuse, etc. However,
the group is still evolving and still in its formative stages, so their weekly meetings are not open
for just anyone to attend. Eventually, there’s a vision for RISE to branch out from the campus community and
become a non-profit organization that would be available to the public, with services providing
community outreach, teaching leadership skills and helping people in recovery transition to
higher education. However, for now, the group’s main focus is still on establishing itself as an
important presence on campus. Fred Wieck, an adjunct counseling faculty member, serves as the
staff advisor for the group and has helped by overseeing the solidification of the group on
campus.

RISE does occasionally host events on the PVCC campus. The group is also in the
process of raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, leading up to that
organization’s “One Walk” on April 28, which will be held at Sloan Park in Mesa.
For more information regarding RISE, you may contact Frank Eisenhauer at (480) 798-
6902.

RISE promotional video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YyLjMhEDcQ

 

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PVCC RISE group inspires students