2022 Ride Beneficiaries

The story behind this year's Rotary Ride beneficiaries...

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic our youth are facing significant risks and challenges that are prohibiting them from living well-balanced, healthy, and thriving lives. This year, the Rotary Club of Santa Cruz Sunrise is partnering with three experienced community organizations to help our kids respond to and overcome these challenges with information and resources focused on their unique needs. They are Monarch Services, Rising Worldwide, and Digital NEST.

Monarch Services.  Over the past eighteen months Monarch’s youth clients have reported an increase in the need for mental health services due to depression and anxiety, increased suicidal ideation, increased drug, and alcohol use, sexual and/or physical abuse both by peers and family members and an unreliable support system. For youth to be able to have systems and support available to them that are impactful, it is critical that their voices are at the forefront of the solutions being offered. To this end, Monarch Services will assist the Santa Cruz County Office of Education in the development of a Youth Council focused on youth mental health and personal safety. Monarch will provide counseling services and provide subject matter experts to school council meetings in the areas of:

  • Online safety
  • Mental health awareness / support / resources
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Sexual assault / harassment prevention and reporting
  • Drug / Alcohol use awareness
  • Human trafficking prevention (Rising)
  • How to build systems and support within the school environment.

The core tenant of Monarch's program is the empowering youth to use their voices, understand their power and elicit change not only changes their lives but also the lives of the youth that their work will directly impact.

Rising Worldwide.  Rising’s programs empower youth to recognize and stay safe from exploitation through connections with lived-experienced experts.  To date, over 4000 youth have learned from survivor leaders about trafficking and potential exploitation.  Rising will help educate our youth with survivor-led Safe and Sound Workshops in Santa Cruz County schools to Identify and avoid predatory tactics used in isolation and trauma bonding, how to Identify healthy boundaries and ways to safely seek assistance for peers and themselves.

Digital NEST.  Digital NEST provides underserved Latinx youth in California with the skills, resources, and network to build confidence and launch successful careers in the areas of:

  • Web & Information Technology
  • Digital Arts & Technology
  • People, Projects & Leadership.

Their training programs directly impact the financial health of their members and their families by preparing them for high-quality, high-demand careers. By nurturing the full potential of their students, they will thrive in the 21st Century workforce and contribute to the economic strength of our community. Nest students will help create youth engaging digital content including graphic design and film production in support of their school-based peers. Proceeds from the Ride will help purchase state-of-the-art audio and video equipment that will allow their members and interns to take their work to the next level and prepare them for careers in media and tech-involved fields.


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