Rise Together

We bring joy to underprivileged kids.

By partnering with ASCEND Outdoor Adventures and other non-profit organizations, we create a program that gives underprivileged kids the opportunity to participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, and more.

This program is sponsored by ACAN and led by ACAN Youth.

Camp Rise-Together New Mexico is CLOSED!

June 13-19, 2021 | Taos, New Mexico

Step 1


The estimated cost per participant is $600 including transportation (from Austin), all camp activities, food and lodge. If the final expense is more than $600, parents agree to reimburse ACAN or its leaders for the remaining amount. 

We are leveraging Austin Marathon’s Run For Charity Campaign to raise funds for this project. Moody Foundation will match donations up to $10,000.

Note: if your employer can match, you can donate to ACAN directly.

Minimum is $600. Please consider donating more to support underprivileged kids!

Make Donation

Step 2


Each applicant should complete the application form and attach the donation receipt from GoFundMe Charity or through other channels.

Application Form

Step 3


ACAN Youth Committee will contact you for a short zoom interview and afterwards, the decision will be announced.

Contact Us


  1. This project is sponsored and organized by Austin Chinese-American Network (ACAN) and its youth, partnering with Ascend Outdoor Adventures and Children of King (COK). ACAN is a non-religious organization and ASCEND and COK are Christian ministries. It’s the parents’ decision to send their children to this camp, understanding that both organizations and their leaders and kids may talk about their religious beliefs. Even though religion is not the main purpose or the main activities of the camp, there are times during the camp where these underprivileged kids will gather for worship or other religious activities. ACAN Youth will have the choice to not participate.
  2. Depending on the number of applications we receive, you may not be accepted for this program. If you are not accepted, your payment will be refunded by ACAN per the parent’s request, minus the administration fee charged by GoFundMe.
  3. By participating in this camp, youth and their parents acknowledge there are certain inherent risks and they agree to bear all liabilities by signing waiver forms from ACAN and ASCEND, once they are finally accepted.  

Featured Video

The Challenge

COVID-19 has created many problems, especially for underprivileged kids (kids in poverty, single parents, minority groups, etc). Many live in dangerous neighborhoods, or have been suffering mental health problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Project Rise Together gives them a chance to experience something they otherwise would have never been able to. 

ACAN Youth has tried to reach out to these groups previously but unfortunately, the opportunity to interact and to connect with these kids are very limited. Project Rise Together gives us a great outreach opportunity. 


  1. Run Camp Rise-Together for underprivileged kids during the week of June 13 to 19 in Taos, New Mexico
  2. Total 40 participants including 20 COK kids and adults and 20 ACAN youth and adults
  3. Activities include rock climbing, rappelling, white water rafting, hiking and a service project
  4. ACAN Youth are raising funds through donation match to support the underprivileged kids; encouraging ACAN family to donate extra funds
  5. ASCEND will provide technical expertise and all group gear
  6. We are staying in dormitory style cabins at the Loma Verde Camp
  7. LIMITED cell phone usage is allowed during the camp

The Solution

Read our summary of Project Rise Together Enchanted Rock


The Benefits

All participants will gain a great outdoor experience. They will learn how to collaborate with each other and gain confidence. This will enable cross-culture experience for both.

In addition, previous research has shown that 96% of underprivileged kids youth who have the opportunity to go outdoors have developed better interpersonal skills, a stronger ability to set and achieve goals, and a greater sense of teamwork.

ACAN Youth age 12 or older; compassionate and kind. No prior outdoor experience required.

ACAN Youth or their family have to be a registered ACAN member to participate in this program. (Register at acantx.org)

Maximum 18 ACAN Youth can register for Camp Rise-Together New Mexico


  • ASCEND has trained and certified professionals in outdoor activities with first responder qualification. They will provide all technical support and group gears.
  • All participants will sign a liability waiver with ASCEND and ACAN.
  • Prior to arrival, all participants will undergo a health check; outdoor environments also have minimum risks of exposure to COVID-19 and other diseases.
  • Social distance will be maintained as well as personal hygiene practices whenever possible. 

Risk Mitigation

Coming up


Waiver Forms

Pack List

Youth Leader: Gloria Wu

I have had extensive outdoor experience such as a 20 days Wilderness Leadership program in Wyoming (backpack hiking, rock climbing etc.), participated in a marathon and half-marathon, as well as many hiking, camping, climbing, and canoeing trips to Big Bend, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Buffalo River National Park and more.

I love kids and especially underprivileged kids. I volunteered in the Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village in China. Their smiles literally melt my heart! I am so excited that we can have this wonderful opportunity to explore nature with underprivileged kids together. Please join me in making this a wonderful experience for them, and for us!


“孩子回家用一字概括这次活动:Fulfilling. 非常感谢Ed & Gloria的用心组织,希望下次还有机会参与。”

Youth Parent


Youth Parent

“This trip definitely opened my eyes in the way that not everyone is as lucky to have the things that I have that I take for granted. It taught me to be more grateful for what I have and learn to give back to the people who aren’t as lucky.”

ACAN Youth

“I was very surprised about how nice all the adults were, especially the leaders that take care of the underprivileged kids, it was very inspiring to see how the kids treat those people like their own family. It was also amazing to see how they spend so much of their time and love on those kids.”

ACAN Youth

“After hearing the backgrounds of the adults working there, I felt a little surprised but also kind of sad. I have been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life so far, but this has caused me to shy away from people who have come from different backgrounds other than mine. Going to this camp has helped me realize just how blessed I am, and that I should do better at noticing people suffering around me.”

ACAN Youth

“But, the highlight of this trip were the kids. I learned their names, chatted, played, explored, and did many, many other activities with them, too. Hearing some of their backgrounds was saddening but still glad in a way that I got to meet them.”

ACAN Youth

This is absolutely beautiful and will open up so many windows. Thank you ACAN!

Jason Mann, Executive Director

Ascend Outdoor Adventures

Just as MLK said, I dream for the day when our kids and kids from different background can play together in the nature.

Ed Wu, Board of Director

Austin Chinese-American Network