Rising Scholars

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The Rising Scholars (formerly LIFE) Program strives to support formerly-incarcerated, system-impacted, and substance abuse recovery students, so that they successfully achieve and exceed their goals through the vehicle of higher education. Receiving an education not only drastically reduces the recidivism rate, it also serves to elevate individuals and communities out of the systems that lead to their incarceration. We aim to empower and uplift the generations of current and future students who seek an education on Cypress College’s campus.

The Rising Scholars Program is a member of the Rising Scholars collaborative, a network of California Community Colleges committed to serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students by providing degree-granting programs in correctional facilities and on-campus support for students who have experienced the criminal legal system.

How the Rising Scholars Program Supports our Students 

  • Textbook Vouchers: To help you with costly books and school supplies
  • Rising Scholars Advocates (Mentors): A team of professionals with lived experience who can provide support and resources during your time here on Cypress College’s campus
  • Emergency Gift Cards: When you run into financial difficulties and need gas, food, and other supports (available as our resources allow)
  • Community Groups: Sober Scholars, FITE (From Incarceration To Empowerment) Club, Healthy Relationships
  • Guest Speakers / Community Events: Hosted throughout each semester
  • Advocacy Letters: Letters written for you to judges, courts, parole and probation officers
  • Transfer Connections: Transfer tours and connections to programs for formerly-incarcerated and system-impacted students on four-year campuses 


In order to receive Rising Scholars Program supports and services, you must identify as being: 

  • Formerly-incarcerated
  • Involved with the criminal legal system (i.e. juvenile detention, jail time, probation, parole)
  • System-impacted (you have a loved one who has experienced incarceration)
  • Addiction recovery

As a part of the Rising Scholars Program, we ask that our students fulfill a few items during the semester: 

  • Connect with your assigned mentor (Rising Scholars Advocate) during the semester, approximately every two weeks for a brief check-in and support
  • Attend three Rising Scholars Program meetings or events during the semester
  • Meet with your major counselor for a comprehensive educational plan


Join us for our Rising Scholars Program events!

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Exterior of Humanities Building



Contact Information

Anne-Marie Beck, Coordinator
T: (714) 484-7028
E: ambeck@CypressCollege.edu

Dr. Troy Davis, Dean, Counseling & Student Development
E: tdavis@cypresscollege.edu
T: (714) 484-7334

Program Email
E: life@cypresscollege.edu