PARK CITY, Utah. — Park City High School students have a new opportunity to participate in sports and activities with the RISE Fund. RISE, which stands for Recreation, Inclusion, Sports, Extracurriculars, is a new pilot program operated by the Park City Community Foundation (PCCF) with the goal of eliminating financial barriers such as fees, travel and equipment costs, and other outlying factors not currently covered by scholarship opportunities at PCHS.
The need for assistance is evident in Park City School District data on families: Nearly a quarter of enrolled students meet the family income requirements to qualify for free or reduced school lunches, a widely used metric for assessing economic need. Additionally, some who do not qualify for subsidized lunches can still be unable to join some sports and activities due to household financial situations and the high cost of programs.
The RISE Fund has an opportunity to open the door for more students to participate in the activities that bring them joy.
Just ask PCHS senior Student Council board member (and PCCF intern) Sheccid Mejia about RISE. She’ll tell you, through her gleaming, giggly grin, “It’s fantastic.” Mejia, born and raised in Park City, has participated in cheerleading for the past four years. Though her sports involvement precluded the RISE Fund, she is now a student advocate who can personally attest to the value of having athletic achievements on her college application – and she’s proud to share she’s been accepted to the University of Utah’s Business Scholars program.
“Cheerleading can be super pricey,” said Mejia, adding that she’s happy RISE is now an option to help more kids afford to play whatever they want – soccer, softball or any of the other sports and activities the school offers. “Friends and family are stoked to be some of the first ones to experience the RISE Fund.”
Treasure Mountain Jr. High ninth graders are also encouraged to apply.
Sarah MacCarthy, community impact manager at PCCF, said that now more than ever, she is seeing barriers to inclusion – and wanting to remove them. “It’s essential to create opportunities for students’ connection both inside and outside of school walls.”
Students interested in getting support from the RISE Fund can email PCCF Outreach and Impact Coordinator Jose Chacon at email@example.com. Chacon, who liaises with the Solomon Fund and the Park City School District, said, “The Solomon Fund was already successfully servicing Park City’s elementary school-aged students, so we saw a need to organically create this exciting opportunity for the high-school aged kids to participate as well.”
The scholarship application window is open now.
PCCF is committed to increasing the highest level of inclusion and participation possible. To donate to the RISE Fund, email Sam Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org.