Creation of Teen UpRise

           Teen UpRise aims to equip teens in the Manayunk and Roxborough neighborhoods of Philadelphia to be the first in their families attend college or a trade school by providing educational, and emotional support during their middle and high school years.  Teen UpRise’s original mission was:

To open teens’ ears to the encouragement of mentors,

Their eyes to a better future,

And their hearts to the love of God.

Amy Concilio, the Executive Director, conceived of Teen UpRise while working as a youth minister at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in the Roxborough and Manayunk neighborhoods of Philadelphia. At the Church, Ms. Concilio provided a safe and nurturing environment for adolescents from local homes. In November 2010, a class at nearby Arcadia University invited Ms. Concilio to give a lecture about her work with her with Philadelphia adolescents and the challenges that she faced.

Following the lecture, the class asked Ms. Concilio if they could work with her students for their class community service project. Ms. Concilio believed that an interaction between the Arcadia students and her adolescent students would be beneficial to her adolescent students by providing them with role models and mentors and access to college. However, Episcopal diocesan rules prohibited the Arcadia students from interacting with the students through the Church youth organization of which Ms. Concilio was a part. Ms. Concilio set out to create Teen UpRise so that the Arcadia students, and others similarly interested in acting as role models and mentors to adolescents and teens, could interact with adolescents in her program.

Teen UpRise began to take shape in the Spring of 2011 when Ms. Concilio, ten Arcadia students and nine adolescents with whom Ms. Concilio worked at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, started meeting in a large room at the permission of the Parish Council of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Manayunk. Over the next four months, the Arcadia students and the adolescents met five times: twice for two day-tours at Arcadia and three times at Teen UpRise. The program was a resounding success: the adolescents decided they wanted to be just like the Arcadia students they had come to view as role models and four of the Arcadia students sought additional avenues to continue working with the adolescents.

As a result of the success of the initial interactions, Teen UpRise has been developing into a more formal entity with a more formal program.  In addition to formation and organization activities performed during Summer 2011, Teen UpRise's Amy Concilio and Board of Director Barb Edwards began teaching a Global Connections Experience Class Fall of 2012. The class continues today. 



                                           AU students and TU members baking together.