With a desire to ensure that the fastest growing populations of veterans have a seat at the table and a community to connect with RISE:Veterans began in 2019. In that time RISE has partnered with other community organizations in and out of the non-profit veterans space to build programming, showcase the stories of veterans, and even hosted the first ever award show for veterans in Pennsylvania.
RISE Veterans mission is founded on the principles of representation, inclusion, solidarity, and equity in service to minority veterans whether that be community, advocacy, or healing.
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IRAQ WAR VETERAN, VETERAN ADVOCATE, AUTHOR, MOM OF FOUR
Growing up the youngest of ten children in a family that lived below the poverty line, finding a way to make things happen was just a part of life. In 2001, at the age of 18 and answering the call of her nation, Aryanna enlisted with the United States Army just weeks after the terror attacks of 9/11 and served with the XVIII Airborne Corp on the front-lines during Operation Iraqi.
Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, an MBA, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, Aryanna is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Community Engagement at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Currently, Aryanna is a Federal consultant supporting Department of Veterans Affairs initiatives and is LUMA Certified Human Centered Design Practitioner.
Aryanna is a Defense Council member of the Truman National Security Project, an Oxfam Sisters on the Planet Ambassador, and belongs to many civic organizations to include the NAACP, VFW, The Mission Continues, and others.
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CHIEF WELLNESS OFFICER
IRAQ WAR VETERAN, YOGI, EXISTENTIALIST, FATHER
Lee Wagner served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years and is an Iraq War veteran. Lee’s professional and personal work focuses on helping veterans, active service members, and their families to become better connected with supportive services. Outside of this work, Lee regularly takes part in local social and physical activities, working to better connect Veterans to each other and their communities.
After completing his 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Breathe Yoga became an RYT-200 Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. In addition to this certification Lee has completed his Warriors at Ease Level 1 Training. This training allows him to teach trauma informed yoga to Veterans.
Lee holds a Bachelor's degree from Robert Morris University in Organizational Leadership and is pursuing his Master's degree in Public Policy from the University of Pittsburgh.