Project RISE Partners with the Cuyahoga Valley National Parks


Providing Educational Opportunities for
Families Experiencing Homelessness


This summer, Project RISE partnered with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) to provide several educational and recreational programs for families served by Project RISE. Project RISE (Realizing Individual Strength Through Education), is a federally funded program that aims to remove educational barriers to students experiencing housing instability.



On July 12th, Project RISE took a group of close to 40 people to a special “day at the park” field trip to several Cuyahoga Valley National Parks. This was the first of five field trips that Project RISE will be taking this summer as part of their special summer programming. At the “Day at the Park” field trip, participants were able to visit three beautiful parks: The Ledges/Octagon Pavilion, Brandywine Falls and Beaver Marsh.

boyscoutCJChristian Jenkins


Scout Christian Jenkins, along with his mother and sister, accompanied the group for the day as volunteers. Christian has decided to hand make and install bird houses at each of Akron’s homeless shelter sites as his service project. Throughout this summer 10 bird houses will be installed!

RRRachel Matejin and Rachel Breece
Project RISE Staff members


RISE Staff Member Rachel Breece coordinated the field trip alongside Project RISE Program Manager Debra Manteghi and CVNP Park Ranger Pamela Machuga. “Ranger Pam” planned a fantastic day of park activities for Project RISE. Participants had a wonderful day of outdoor play, hiking and picnicking. At the Octagon Pavilion, the rangers set up a field of various activities for the kids to enjoy. The kids loved the hula-hoop, corn hole, volley ball, jump rope and more. At Brandywine falls, participants enjoyed a gorgeous view of a waterfall and a walk through the woods. It was a fantastic day of nature, fun and scenic views.


On June 21st, Project RISE was invited to take a group of 76 people on a special Train Ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. All participants had a wonderful time and were thrilled with the views, songs and animal skins. The participants even spotted two bald eaglets sitting in a nest and the bald eagle parent gliding above!



Throughout the summer, Project RISE has taken groups to various CVNP “Get up and Go” Programs, Camp Fire events, and even a musical performance.

Project RISE looks forward to several other educational trips planned with the Cuyahoga Valley National Parks for the remainder of the summer.

RangerPamCVNP Park Ranger Pamela Machuga – NPS/ TED TOTH


Ranger Pam has been a strong asset and advocate for Project RISE and has event spent some of her free time volunteering for the program. In 2015, Ranger Pam and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park received a Volunteer Recognition Award from the Akron Public Schools. Ms. Machuga was recognized and thanked at the Volunteer Recognition Banquet on March 24th, 2015.

Project RISE would like to sincerely thank the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Ranger Pam for her work in coordinating and volunteering with us.

DebraDebra Manteghi


During the 2015-2016 school year, Project RISE Identified and served over to 1,800 students experiencing homelessness. For more information on Project RISE and how you can help, please contact Debra Manteghi at 330-761-2969 or

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