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Rise Up

Rise Up Central Kansas is a task force under the Central Kansas Partnership with the mission of growing a resilient community for all through healing, hope and understanding. Our vision is community healing for all. 

Our steering committee is compromised of stakeholders including the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, The Center for Counseling and Consultation, the City of Great Bend, ESSDAK, the Oxford House, USD 428, and individuals with lived experiences of substance abuse disorder, poverty, and mental health issues. Our steering committee and our organization is dedicated to creating a durable network for individuals, families, schools businesses, healthcare and peer groups.

The Importance

The Kaiser Permanente's study of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is the cornerstone study on ACEs. It displayed that ACEs are common across all demographics (some populations are more vulnerable to experiencing ACES because of the social and economic conditions in which they live, learn, work and play) with nearly two-thirds of the population having experienced at least one ACE and more than one in five reported three or more ACES. 

The study found there was high correlation between the number of ACEs an individual has experienced and their negative outcomes in life. (See an exhaustive list of negative outcomes here).

Based on data from the State of Kansas, Barton County experiences a high number of children living in poverty, more children with single-parent households and more signs of poverty than other areas of the state. We also have a high degree of mental health issues, illicit drug use and other negative outcomes. Read about our data source. 

In understanding the correlation between ACEs and negative outcomes for individuals, we knew we had a unique opportunity to serve our community.

Our ACES trainers are ready to serve you and your organization. We provide free training centered on raising awareness of ACEs and their impacts, and strategies to build individual and community resilience. Our trainings can be tailored to your individual, business or community needs. 

Our message is being heard.  The Rise Up team has experienced positive interactions with our community, but we have a long way to go.  From pop-up meetings to planned coffees to community events, we will #JustKeepTalking and create an environment where we can #RiseUp.

Our History

In early 2018, as a part of the Circles of Central Kansas movement and with a beginning awareness of the far-reaching effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Amy Boxberger, Central Kansas Community Corrections Director, and Shelly Schneider, began attending the Building Resilient Hutchinson meetings at the recommendation of Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz, Director of ESSDACK Learning Centers.

The Barton County Health Department ignited interest in growing a resilient community by hosting an ACES Boot Camp for approximately 100 people in August 2018.   From there, a steering committee that included Boxberger, Schneider and Jamie Baldwin, Laura Horsfall, Julie Kramp, Quenla McGilber, Brandy Wondra, and Marissa Woodmansee, began to meet weekly.  The group committed to healing, hope, and understanding by having all voices at the table.  The steering committee wasn’t just a group of academics discussing the need for a resilient community – in addition to public health, mental health, adult and juvenile corrections representatives, membership included those that overcame poverty, addiction and mental health issues.  

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