About Theresa and Kirsten

Theresa and Kirsten are the Co-Founders of Arise! Communities, a nonprofit organization offering a full spectrum of judgment-free technology education to diverse people groups. Kirsten attended college just down the road at Concordia College, while Theresa graduated from North Carolina Central University. Previously, these two women were a part of an organization that believed in promoting tech inclusivity, but Theresa and Kirsten were disappointed by the efforts behind this claim. Together, they decided it was time to do something about it – so, they created Arise! Communities.

Arise! Communities was founded to do better for underrepresented groups and look at technology education beyond just coding and web development. Kirsten never imagined herself starting a nonprofit, but jumping headfirst into something she was passionate about made it all make sense. While the journey has been filled with highs and lows, they learned it’s okay to make mistakes and learn along the way. While first struggling to get people out of their comfort zones and attend their events, they were later met with comments of community recognition, “Oh, I have heard of Arise!” reassuring that what they were doing was working.  While beginning a startup was challenging, they’ve made leaps and bounds since the beginning. Recently, they have partnered with the largest company in the world, Microsoft, to help women receive their Microsoft Office Certification.


About Arise! Communities

Arise! Communities is working to fill the gap of the tech industry which currently lacks a focus on women, nonbinary adults, people of color, and a multitude of intersections of race, identity, socioeconomic status, and abilities. Representation matters, and Arise! wants to ensure underrepresented groups can see people like them succeeding in tech. They’ve built safe learning spaces for the people they serve to empower learners to try new things without the pressure to have all the answers. 

In this next stage of growth, Arise! Communities is looking for instructors who are passionate, who share their purpose, and who want to create lightbulb moments for others. They are also in pursuit of adding an Executive Director to steer the activities of Arise! Communities. Along with these hopes for the future, they’re ultimately looking for community investment in their vision, for those who see the need for this work, and who want to contribute to their impact in the FM Community. 

If you feel inclined to donate to Arise! Communities, you can visit their donation page at www.arisecommunities.com/support. Learn more about Arise! Communities at their website www.arisecommunities.com and check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @AriseComms.

Jessica Anderson

Jessica is the Event Marketing Intern at Emerging Prairie, focusing on celebrating programs like 1 Million Cups Fargo, TEDxFargo, Possibility Summit, and more.