Our Mission

Our mission is to provide valuable ARISE life skills and staff training to at-risk youth and the adults who care for them. We enable youth of all ages, and young adults to achieve their highest potential as law abiding citizens through ARISE group sessions conducted by well trained, caring ARISE Facilitators.

“Life skills are not hereditary; they must be taught. With this in mind, we dedicate ourselves to building social and emotional fitness in youth and young adults.”

— Edmund And Susan Benson, Founders Of ARISE Foundation

Meet the ARISE Founders

Edmund and Susan Benson, Founders​

Edmund F. Benson was born in Boston in 1929 and attended school there. Impatient to do his part during World War II, at age 14 he joined the Massachusetts State Guard. One month after his 16th birthday, he joined the U.S. Merchant Marine. Three years later, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At age 21, he established a sales organization which grew into a chain of 18 furniture rental showrooms with locations stretching from Boston to Austin, TX. In 1972, he moved his business headquarters and family to South Florida. In 1982 Benson retired from business to devote his energy and passion to salvaging the lives of at-risk particularly those with social and behavior problems. Thus the birth of ARISE Foundation.

Susan Benson, M.S. Ed., was born in New York in 1942 and attended school there. She has been an educator with over 30 years of experience teaching learning challenged children and young adults. A high priority for Susan was vulnerable girls and young woman which is visible when one examines ARISE curricula for girls.

The Benson’s retired from ARISE in 2014 to spend their abundant energy on a new endeavor titled Constructive Aging an, extensive life management skills program for those over 60 years of age. In doing so they deliver popular lecturers addressing constructive aging topics to various organizations servicing older people. After the sudden death in January 2020 of Yasmin Isaacs, who was the Executive Director running ARISE, the Bensons stepped in to oversee ARISE Foundation once again.