Founded by Wendy Alane Adams, the Rise Up Foundation strives to improve the lives of children and families living in poverty and difficult circumstances. Rise Up supports literacy projects as a path toward improving the future prospects of children in underserved communities by making book donations, providing classroom support, and grant-making. In addition to literacy efforts, Rise Up works with organizations committed to defining and solving the problems that chronic poverty brings to children and their communities.
Who We Serve
Rise Up has provided support in many forms to underserved children since 2008. Rise Up regularly provides supplies and hosts events at local shelters and after-school tutoring programs serving low-income children. On a global front, Rise Up has made significant contributions towards international children’s humanitarian groups like UNICEF. Rise Up’s primary focus, however, is providing support to classrooms across the country by donating toward literacy projects targeting high-poverty inner-city and rural schools. Our literacy efforts are directed at elementary schools through middle grade with a special interest in grades 6-8 because adolescents can be at highest risk for losing ground on literacy achievements.
An Interview with Our Founder
About Wendy “Alane” Adams
I started the Rise Up Foundation in 2008 as a way to use my time, experience and resources to help individuals and organizations rise above their circumstances to actualize their full potential. I’ve worn many hats in my career: Certified Public Accountant, Chief Financial Officer, Entrepreneur, Professor, and most recently Author when my youngest son asked me to write him a book! (You can learn more at alaneadams.com.)
It seems like eons ago that I graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After obtaining my Certified Public Accounting license, I became Chief Financial Officer of a family metals recycling business. Alongside my siblings, I oversaw the growth and success of the business as it transformed from a small family business to SA Recycling LLC, one of the largest and most successful regional metal processing firms on the West Coast. I founded Rise Up Foundation the day after I retired from this business in 2008. In 2010 I received my Masters Degree in Diplomacy so I could better understand the endemic global challenges we face.
I’ve spent my life being active in community service and philanthropy, but the overarching thrust of my efforts has been on organizations and initiatives that help families and children. I was fortunate to participate in several field visits with UNICEF, the world’s leading advocate for children. I was able to witness firsthand in Angola, Laos, and Nepal, the power of vaccines, education, gender equality, and the right to access clean water. I’ve travelled all over the world looking at humanitarian projects, microfinance initiatives and studied the role advocacy and awareness plays in creating long term sustainable change. My passion for understanding social impact led me to join the faculty at Chapman University in 2009 and develop and teach a course on Social Entrepreneurship. I’ve also taught over 1,000 students how to be literate in financial accounting.
My experiences in studying global poverty and visiting schools in developing countries around the world as well as here in the US has led me to zero in on literacy as a key indicator for future success. This focus joined with my lifetime interest in writing and a request from my son to “write something he could read” led to the ongoing development of children’s book series, including The Legends of Orkney series, The Witches of Orkney series, and The Legends of Olympus series, written under the pen name Alane Adams. Today, I’m proud to say the Rise Up Foundation is busier than ever supporting teacher’s efforts to improve literacy in the classroom. Rise Up is proud to help provide teachers with the resources they need to do the job right. In addition, we are proud to distribute new books to classrooms across the country to provide children with books they are excited to read. At Rise Up, we are constantly evolving and thinking of new ways to impact the lives of children.
I hope my own efforts will inspire others to make a difference in children’s lives by finding was they can devote themselves to enhancing children’s lives, here in our own country and also worldwide!