project leader
Tracy B
P.O. Box 141356
(Hamilton County)
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the project

Our goal is to launch RISE Youth, a newspaper for incarcerated teens, which will offer reentry resources, information, guidance and an outlet for expression.

RISE Youth newspaper is needed to address the lack of effective reentry planning and enrichment programming for locally incarcerated youth. In 2017, over 50,000 juveniles were arrested and detained in Ohio, many of whom were released without a clear plan.

Although teens have similar reentry needs as adults—like housing, education, healthcare, and employment—they also have a unique set of needs. During after-school hours and summer break, kids are at a higher risk for involvement in negative and potentially criminal behavior. If we can help them plan to fill that time with positive activities and relationships, they are less likely to return to a correctional facility. 

RISE Youth will address this need by providing a resource guide that expands upon basic reentry services. Our resource guide will include local organizations that offer structured activities for teens during critical times. Think leadership programs, summer camps, recreation, computer skills and life skills education groups. RISE Youth will be available to teens while they are still incarcerated to help plan for successful reentry.

Each issue of RISE Youth will also include content created by currently and formerly incarcerated teens; including personal essays, poems, artwork, advice columns and a “how-to” section. RISE Youth will partner with local correctional facilities and community-based programs to develop a writing and arts program, where teens can express themselves creatively. This will allow them to elevate their voices, serve as role models for one another and create inclusion within the community. 

With RISE Youth in their hands, teens will feel empowered to build a positive path forward. 

the steps

Nest steps:

  • Create a new staff role to lead the project

    • One person will be devoted to leading RISE Youth, traveling to Ohio youth correctional facilities and leading creative writing/art groups

    • This staff member will collect all of the teen-submitted content, organized by issue and maintain editorial calendar

  • Expand an existing role to provide support to the lead staff member

  • Have a fully developed creative writing/art program to use within youth correctional facilities and organizations (including lesson plans, prompts and readings)

  • Partnerships with six Ohio youth correctional facilities and social service organizations where we implement the creative writing program

  • Publish on a quarterly basis

  • Distribute the print newspaper into over 20 Ohio youth correctional facilities, social service organizations and community locations

  • A live website where youth and their families can access resources, information and empowering stories

  • Social media accounts where youth and their families can stay up-to-date on RISE Youth news

why we're doing it

In April 2017, we created RISE Newspaper, a publication that provides resources, information and hope to adults who are currently incarcerated in county jails. Each issue includes solution-based articles, peer-submitted poetry and artwork, as well as a local resource guide that our readers can utilize upon release. Our newspaper is currently distributed in five correctional facilities across the Southwest Ohio region, as well as many community partner organizations. 

Since launching RISE Newspaper, we set a goal to create a youth version for incarcerated teens in Ohio. In 2017, over 50,000 juveniles were arrested and detained in Ohio, many of whom were released without a clear reentry plan. These teens have unlimited potential, and we would like to help them reach it through resources, information and creative expression. RISE Youth will provide a unique resource guide with education, employment and housing opportunities for teens. It will also include advice from peers who successfully re-entered the community after incarceration, as well as stories and artwork created by the teens themselves. 

We are currently working with teens and staff at Lighthouse Youth Services to research and understand this demographic’s needs. Last fall, Emma Jenkins, our Editor-in-Chief, visited Lighthouse Youth Center Paint Creek, a community-based program for boys 15-18 who have been adjudicated delinquent by an Ohio juvenile court. While meeting with these young men, Emma learned that many of them were seeking education and employment resources upon release, but they didn’t know where to turn—not every city in Ohio has a reentry office to assist them. The boys said a newspaper (including resources and advice) would be useful for them, and they would like to take part in submitting stories of their own. 

With your funding, we will meet with teen boys and girls at youth service organizations across Ohio to further develop RISE Youth’s resources and content plans. We will also partner with staff members to implement creative writing programs and assignments so teens can submit stories, questions and comments to us directly. 

RISE Newspaper is the first of its kind in the United States. We have already started developing our RISE Youth edition by including feedback from teens, youth detention centers, local judges and community control supervisors. We also partnered with Mt. Saint Joseph University to create a design layout for the first issue. 

Authenticity, peer inclusion and community cooperation have positioned Rise Up News to launch this new initiative. We have built trust and respect among local agencies, sheriff staff and detention centers, allowing us access inside these facilities to speak with those who are currently incarcerated. As we begin to scale our brand outside of the region, we are seeing the same success we've had locally, and we are confident the same will be true with RISE Youth.


The budget for Rise Up News is currently $130,000 annually. The majority of the budget is for staffing and operational costs (approximately $115,000) the other $15,000 is for production, freelance contractors, administrative and professional costs. We anticipate similar production costs for RISE Youth ($15,000) and part-time staff person to come on the team to help mange the project ($10,000). 


ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $774
TOTAL TO RAISE = $25,809


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