Side-by-Side is a program that provides tours, learning opportunities, and workshops for "at-risk" youth (all youth are believed to be “at-risk”) on the University of Oregon campus. Activities focus on community building, honest conversation, goal setting, and more – all at the aim of fostering a positive and inclusive environment. Side-by-Side originally partnered with RISE UP!, a program designed and run by incarcerated men at Oregon State Penitentiary, which inspires youth to use positive decision-making skills instead of scaring them away from bad choices. Side-by-Side would then offer the youth a chance to engage in dynamic workshops, discussions, and activities at the University of Oregon campus to offer a sense of what education can offer.
RISE-UP was created and led by people who work extremely hard to make a positive difference while incarcerated. Side-by-Side is one of the greatest examples of what the Prison Education can do--we can respond to existing needs by partnering with organizations led by people who are incarcerated, and who therefore have incredible insights about the needs and potential of at-risk young people.
At this time, RISE UP! is not holding youth panels, so Side-by-Side is reaching out directly to schools, youth organizations, and other groups to invite youth to participate in group activities and workshops.