Jaci will discuss Rise Above and her efforts in building this mission driven business. The mission needs to match your budget, businesses’ strategic plan needs to build around your mission, and the importance of partnerships with like-minded organizations and people.
Jaci McCormack grew up on the Nez Perce Reservation outside of Lewiston, Idaho. She fell in love with basketball early on and earned a scholarship to play for Illinois State University, where she was named the 2005 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament MVP. After her college career, Jaci was inspired to return home and give back to her community. She served as the Deputy Executive Director for the Nez Perce Tribe, as well as the Youth Prevention Director, building deep relationships with tribal and community partners.
In 2015, Jaci founded Rise Above, a non-profit organization that gives Native youth the skills and resilience to overcome their circumstances and write their own futures. As the CEO of Rise Above, Jaci leads the organization in its mission to empower youth through a variety of programs including sports, education, financial literacy, prevention skills and mentorship, using prevention strategies that will spark change in people’s lives.
Jaci has attracted an incredible group of engaged and like-minded partners and donors across the country who believe in Rise Above’s mission to empower Native youth, including PNW tribes, investors, prevention advocates, sports legends, hall-of-famers, and Hollywood stars.
Jaci has helped grow the Rise Above business from serving 300 kids to over 3,000 per year growing exponentially each year. Amid building her business, Jaci was approached by an independent Hollywood Film Producer to write and produce a feature film of her life story. Jaci’s story will be featured in a full-length motion picture with 3-time NBA Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens and award-winning actor Danny Glover serving as Executive Directors to the film.
In the past two years, Jaci has been invited to speak to numerous youth organizations, girl's empowerment events, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Washington and the youngest organization to speak at the U.S. White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.