Spearheaded by The Contingent, formerly known as Portland Leadership Foundation, Ready to Rise Clark County helps diverse emerging leaders thrive and grow together on the journey through college while equipping them for leadership in their community. For the 2020-21 academic year, Ready to Rise will select approximately 60 high school seniors from Clark County planning to enroll at one of three participating colleges:



If you can answer these FOUR QUESTIONS, you are Ready to Rise.

If you can answer these FOUR QUESTIONS, you are Ready to Rise

Are you eligible to register?
  1. Do you love your community and want to use your college education to make a difference as a leader on campus and at home?
  2. Will you graduate from high school in 2020 OR graduated in 2019 and are not currently enrolled in college?
  3. Do you live in Clark County and, if selected, could you arrange your own transportation to regular evening trainings in Vancouver?
  4. Do you plan to attend Clark, WSU-Vancouver, or CWU?

What You’ll Need and How it Works

The registration form will need the following info:

  1. Contact Information. Your email, phone, address, and high school.
  2. Demographic Information. Some basics about you and your background.

You can register for Ready to Rise in 5 minutes.

During the Summer commitments (initial Conference and Summer Retreat), you will be asked for important information to support your transition to your college such as your High School Transcripts and Financial Aid Summary.

Registration closes on May 30, 2020. Registrations recieved after May 30 will be considered as space allows.



Do you love your community? Are you planning on attending Clark College, Central Washington University, or Washington State University-Vancouver? Check out what Ready to Rise has to offer you. Don’t delay and register today!



A Cohort Model for College Success and Community Leadership
Find supportive peers who have your back—whether you’re figuring out your way around campus, researching internship options, or learning to network in your hometown. Ready to Rise uses a strategy of multiple cohorts through each year of school, including the summers, to keep you growing and motivated every step of the way.

Stronger Communities with Educated, Passionate Leaders who are Ready to Rise
Bound together by shared values and training, Ready to Rise scholars learn to encourage and challenge each other while they receive ongoing support from each other, older student mentors, their colleges and Ready to Rise staff.  After their time together as Community Cohorts, Campus Cohorts and Career Cohorts, alumni graduate from college connected to each other in multiple ways and ready to lead in the community.  Together, they will weave a fabric of leadership that will shape the future of our cities and communities.


  • Powerful training in leadership, time management, financial literacy and other helpful topics
  • Organized activities throughout the year that help you establish a community of friends who share your vision and have your back
  • A supportive mentor in your first year and the chance to return the favor in your second
  • Internship and career supports as you prepare for life and leadership after college
  • Networking opportunities with leaders and professionals in your home community


The first Ready to Rise cohort begins at home. Why go to college alone when you can go together with a group of peers from your community who share your vision and are committed to supporting one another?


The process of identifying participants begins as Ready to Rise staff work with school and community leaders to recruit high school seniors throughout the school year. Students register for the program through an online registration. Participants are then selected and trained throughout the summer, before heading together to college in the fall.

Timeline Details

Ready to Rise participants are selected and trained throughout the summer where they gain valuable skills for college success while demonstrating and growing their leadership potential and commitment to their community.

Registration Due Date

Students interested in Ready to Rise begin by completing a basic online registration. Applicants also need to apply to one or more Ready to Rise participating colleges.

Summer Comitments

Beginning with an Initial Conference at the end of June, Ready to Rise participants meet with their community cohorts five times through the summer, including a summer expedition where they first meet their campus mentors. At the conclusion of training, participants head to college with a family-like community, ready to support and challenge each other on campus and beyond.


Who Should Register

For Spring 2020, the program will select approximately 60 emerging leaders from Clark County who plan to start at Clark, WSU Vancouver, or CWU for the 2020–21 school year. Ready to Rise is looking for students who are:

  • Motivated to learn and grow
  • Eager to foster intercultural relationships
  • Willing to step out of their comfort zones
  • Committed to serving those around them
  • Ready to make a difference

Registrants must be high school seniors planning to graduate in 2020 OR graduated in 2019 and are not currently enrolled in college.

Ready to Rise registrants must plan to apply and be accepted to one or more of the participating colleges listed above. While Ready to Rise particularly seeks low-income students and those who will be the first in their family to attend college, there are no income restrictions. Students from all ethnic backgrounds and with any citizenship or immigration status are also encouraged to register.

Selection Criteria

In its second year of 2020-21, approximately 60 students from the Clark County area will be selected as Ready to Rise participants.

Because Ready to Rise is supporting Clark County area students exclusively at CC, WSUV, and CWU, the ability to successfully apply and enroll in one of those three schools is required for selection. In addition, we will be looking for students who demonstrate a love for their home community and an interest in growing their leadership skills in service of that community.

Scholar Commitment

Summer Scholar Commitment

Beginning with a Initial Conference in June, Ready to Rise participants meet with their community cohorts five times through the summer, including a summer expedition where they first meet their campus mentors. Through the retreat and training, scholars:

  • establish supportive friendships and grow as a team
  • hone study and time-management strategies
  • learn about money management and ways to make, save and spend money wisely during college
  • deepen their understanding of culture and communication
  • explore personal development as a leader

At the conclusion of training, participants head to college with a family-like community, ready to support and challenge each other on campus and beyond.



After training with their community cohort, Ready to Rise scholars regroup at college to form campus cohorts, where they are matched with near-peer student mentors, and head into the school year with built-in support from other RTR students who share a sense of purpose as service-minded leaders.

Monthly get-togethers for social activities and/or trainings keep the campus cohorts connected to each other, help everyone grow as leaders, and offer an extra layer of support to ensure that students know about all of the resources their college has to offer.

Blending practical college success skills, leadership training, self-discovery and cohort team-building, the Ready to Rise training program revolves around seven big ideas:

Big Ideas of Ready to Rise

These are the concepts at the heart of our program. They are the big ideas that inspire and drive our scholars, coaches, and staff to be Ready to Rise.

There’s a change-maker within each of us. If you’re passionate about an issue—whether it’s racial injustice or climate change or an unfair policy at school—you can do something about it. Ready to Rise is committed to help you raise awareness, build communication skills and learn strategies to lead change wherever you are.

We honor the diversity of opinions, perspectives, backgrounds, and cultures. As part of building your skills as a leader within a multicultural world, you are encouraged to express yourself, share your culture and learn from others’ cultures as well.

We’re in it together. In college and in life, relationships are essential. Make time for your coaches and your RTR peers—to volunteer, eat, study or just hang out. These are people you can be real with; who know your story and have your back.  

We believe in giving back. Volunteering is good for others and good for yourself. Community service projects provide tangible gifts to others in need while teaching us valuable lessons about ourselves and our world.

We believe college graduation is possible for everyone if you put in the effort and use your resources. What classes to take? Where to go when you’re struggling? How to manage limited money? Limited time? Ready to Rise shows you how to use campus resources—including figuring out what, when and who to go to, so you can stay on track all the way to graduation.

College is the time for scholars to decide on career goals, figure out the path to get there and to get moving. It’s your path, your choices and your hard work that will get you to your career goals. The Ready to Rise program and campus career centers have the tools, connections, and expertise to make the process easier.



Starting in their second year, students participate in workshops about career pathways and receive coaching from a Ready to Rise Career Pathways Coordinator to help them develop solid post-college plans.

Career Cohorts are created based on similar career interests, and meet periodically to discuss their potential professions and share job shadowing, mentoring and internship ideas. Participants earn badges through a custom RTR app that helps them check off the classes and experiences (resume development, informational interviews, etc.) that will help them find and thrive in a job they love.


What if I don’t know where I want to go to school yet or have not yet been accepted?

Go ahead and register! That way we’ll have your registration no matter what. Plus, Ready to Rise sends out helpful texts to all of our registrants with tips and resources for figuring out the best college fit and/or the steps to get there.

Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to register?

No. U.S. Citizens, Dual-Citizens, and Permanent Residents are eligible to register for Ready to Rise.  Immigrants who are eligible for the Washington REAL Hope Act may register for Ready to Rise as well.

Is Ready to Rise only for students of color? Only for low-income students?

No. The goal of the program is to select an intentionally diverse group of students, both ethnically and economically. While the majority of students selected will likely be students of color, low income, or the first in their families to go to college, White students and students from middle-class families who have experience relating to people from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to register.  Selecting students from a range of backgrounds is critical to creating a cohort that will serve as a model of healthy and honest intercultural relationship that is at the heart of a thriving and equitable community.

Why do I need to provide my family’s financial information?

Because Ready to Rise strives to select an economically diverse cohort, it is important that we have an accurate estimate of registrants’ financial situation. Further, in order for us to help provide suggestions for accepting college financial aid, it is critical that the program have an accurate estimate of the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The information provided in the Ready to Rise registration process is the same information that colleges will later receive through the FAFSA or WASFA and gives both Ready to Rise and families an early and reliable estimate of their EFC. All financial information is treated confidentially.

Does RTR provide a scholarship?

While we do not provide a scholarship, we also support RTR students through the financial aid process for the college they plan to attend and encourage students to apply for scholarships at their colleges and in their communities.

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