Reach. Inspire. Support. Empower.

Support Guitars Over Guns graduates by becoming a member of RISE!

Guitars Over Guns’ RISE program (Reach. Inspire. Support. Empower.) is a twist on your typical young professionals board experience. In addition to creating a platform that connects a network of fun, dedicated, socially conscious professionals, RISE aims to provide continued mentorship to graduates of Guitars Over Guns’ middle school programming as they adjust to high school, plan for their futures and explore unique school and work paths that lead to post-secondary success.

RISE focuses on:

  • Providing academic support and guidance to graduates of our middle school programs
  • Creating a safe space to network and build relationships with like-minded peers
  • Arranging experiences and diverse opportunities to advance cultural awareness

Want to support us? Give a little time to make a big​ impact! We are actively looking for RISE Leadership Board members, General Board members, committee chairs and mentors. 

Check out our teams below, and reach out to our Membership team to get involved today!

Be a part of the RISE impact.

Want to learn even more? Scroll down for more information on our board and mentoring opportunities.


Available Leadership Board positions:

  • General Board Member
  • Event Chair
  • Vice President

Apply here!


of students reported that Guitars Over Guns has helped them feel more confident taking healthy risks and trying new things


of students set, monitored and achieved a personal goal with the help of a mentor

Ways to get involved:

Leadership Board (5-7 hours/week)*

What It Is: This level is for those with the capacity to give their time and talents on a regular basis. The RISE Board meets monthly to support events, sponsorship opportunities, our mentors and our members. 

What You Get: Leadership Board members will work closely with like-minded individuals, create unique experiences and relationship-building opportunities for our mentors and alumni, and play a significant role in building and sustaining the RISE program and its community.

Open Leadership Board Roles — Apply here!

  • General Board Member
  • Event Chair
  • Vice President

General Board Member (2-5 hours/month)*

What It Is: If, through conversations with Guitars Over Guns staff at student concerts or special events, you’ve asked the question: “How can I be involved with Guitars Over Guns if I’m not a musician?“, this level is for you. This level offers access to the Guitars Over Guns RISE community, without the time or energy commitment of a Leadership Board position.

What You Get: General Board members support several different committees based on personal interest, including event planning, community building and fundraising. The General Board will attend quarterly meetings and continue to help us further the mission of Guitars Over Guns. You can be based almost anywhere and be a General Committee member! 

General Board Members meet quarterly and support Board committees:

  • Events
  • Recruiting, Outreach & Community Building
  • Fundraising & Sponsorship
  • Mentor Programming & Recruitment

Want to get involved? Fill out our General Board Member Interest Form! 

RISE Mentor (3-5 hours/month)*

What It Is: For those supporters who may not be musical, but want to serve Chicago’s youth in a hands-on and meaningful way, consider becoming a RISE mentor. Our mentors are vetted and trained volunteers who work in small cohorts with our energetic, passionate program alumni. Students in our program are typically looking for someone they can turn to as a sounding board as they develop their high school and post-school plans. In general, our students are looking for college and career advice, exposure to internships, and caring adults who can help them achieve their goals.

What You Get: Under the guidance of our High School Mentoring Chair and RISE Program Coordinator, mentors are trained volunteers who get to create personal relationships with Guitars Over Guns program graduates and help them plan their adult journey. Mentors participate in 6-8 annual large group and small cohort programming events such as college campus visits, test prep and post-secondary planning, college application support and resume and interview guidance.

Apply here! Our next mentor training cycle starts January 2020. 

Who we are:

Andrew DeMuro
Chicago Regional Director

Liz Winter
Mentorship Chair

Shelley Gupta

Lisa Travnik
Membership Chair

Jennifer Mercer
Operations & Development Chair

Marisol “Pinqy Ring” Vélez
RISE Program Coordinator

What we’re up to:

By adriana / January 23, 2019

Leaving a Legacy

It was absolutely amazing to see these hardworking and talented kids up on stage in front of a packed room. They exuded the most confidence we've seen from them and they all came back telling us how much fun they had.

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