Staff of the Month: Dan Reilly

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As Director of Innovation, Dan works in partnership with our youth members and staff to realize the vision of an expanded campus called RYSE Commons so that Richmond youth and invested stakeholders have a space to build, learn, heal, and transform themselves and their community. Learn more about this exciting campaign here, and learn more about Dan below!


Name and Title: 

Dan Reilly, Director of Innovation

How long have you worked at RYSE?

I have worked at RYSE for over 8 years. I first came to RYSE as a part-time video production workshop instructor and my role has changed and grown a lot over the years.

As the Director of Innovation, what do you do?

As the Director of Innovation, my primary focus is engaging youth and community in visioning and designing a new youth-driven space called RYSE Commons that will be grounded in creativity, innovation, and healing and provide a transformative space for Richmond youth and invested stakeholders. 

What do you love most about your job?

I am extremely passionate about building community and bringing people together to accomplish things that others don't initially believe are possible. Whether that involves building a new campus or fighting for social justice, I love how I am empowered at RYSE to be bold, brave, creative, and to dream big!

How did you first hear about RYSE and why did you choose to get involved?

I first heard about RYSE when I was operating a small video production company and RYSE was a client. I produced the original RYSE organization video, and through that process I developed a deep respect for RYSE. As a result, I was excited for the opportunity to come in and work with youth as a video instructor when the chance presented itself. It was not long into my time as a video instructor that I realized that my true passion was working with the dedicated warriors for social justice and the amazing youth at RYSE. I was fortunate enough to build relationships in those early days that eventually led to be being accepted into this amazing community.

If you had to describe RYSE in three words, what would they be and why?

Innovative, Inspiring, Transformative

Can you share something that happened in the RYSE community that resonated with you this month?

It seems as if I am constantly inspired by the way the RYSE community rallies around one another during challenging times. Earlier this month, when DACA came under attack, I was touched and inspired by the way we came together to express our concerns, frustration, and outrage while leading with love for community and one another. We often talk about leading with love and being fueled by both love and rage, and in that moment I once again saw those principles in action. It was a beautiful moment, even if we should never have found ourselves in that situation in the first place.

If you had any superpower, what would it be and why?

If I have one superpower it would be the ability to travel through time so I could go back and see the world during the time of dinosaurs.


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