Students who have graduated from Joseph A. Gregori and moved on to colleges and universities across the nation have learned important lessons about the college admissions process that can easily be passed on to current Gregori students. This program is offered as a resource for students to connect with like-minded scholars of common backgrounds to present college as an option for all Gregori students.

This program serves as a bridge in education by offering a forum to ask questions about college. We offer a platform for information and create and facilitate mentorship relationships and networking opportunities for high school students and graduates. 

The goal of RISE is to increase the confidence of high school students in transitioning to colleges. We link Gregori alumni with current Gregori students to provide reliable and firsthand knowledge on college, that comes from students who have had similar experiences and opportunities at Gregori High School. 

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The Leadership Team

Our leadership team is composed of both Gregori graduates and current Gregori high school students. When RISE was founded, our high school students were in the middle of the college application process and search, feeling overwhelmed and confused. At the same time, our graduates were learning how to navigate their universities and reflecting on their journey. They began to share their experiences and realized they both had so much to learn from one another. RISE was founded to expand upon that realization, in the hopes of helping all students who have passed through the halls at Gregori High School. 


liah kim

Program Manager

A current senior at Gregori High School, Liah is a member of the varsity tennis and swim team, as well as the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra, acting as Principal Cellist for three years. In addition to music and sports, Liah participates in Gregori's Leadership program, and wishes to continue the legacy of RISE in order to ensure students like her have opportunities to maximize their full potential and find success in their academic endeavors. 


Madison whisenand

program manager

Madi is currently a senior at Gregori High School. Keeping active in many different programs at school, she is senior class president and has been in the leadership program all 4 years. In addition, Madi has played soccer for eight years and recently was awarded her Gold Award through the Girl Scouts program. She hopes that RISE will help other students with college, just as it has encouraged her.




Kailani graduated from Gregori in 2014. Throughout her high school experience, she was heavily involved in campus activities including Future Business Leaders of America, the Varsity tennis team, and more, and served as Associated Student Body President during her senior year.

She recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Sociology. She founded RISE after reflecting on her own transition from Gregori to UC Berkeley, with the goal of improving the experiences of future Gregori graduates.  

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Alyssa graduated from Gregori High School in 2018. During her four years there, she was active in Mock Trial, Leadership, Varsity Tennis, and Project Change, a club that serves local and global communities.

She helped create the program during her senior year of high school and hoped to help other seniors like her who were struggling through the application process. She is a current freshman at Princeton University. She wants RISE to continue to become more accessible to even more students throughout the district by spreading the program to surrounding high schools.