a·rise /əˈrīz/ "to come into being"

Our Vision

We envision a generation of safe, confident and strong girls.


As educators, we see the affects of bullying and unresolved conflict in young girls’ lives.

Our mission is to increase young girls’ ability to face challenges of bullying, conflict and everyday interactions with peers and others in a way that fosters their sense of safety, confidence and strength.


All Arise Programs are grounded in a "whole-being approach" to safety and empowerment, but what does that mean?

A whole-being approach seeks to strengthen the physical, mental, social, emotional and virtual dimensions of an individual, ie. their whole being.

Arise Programs combine fun and age-appropriate self defense techniques, with meaningful activities and discussions around important topics for young girls today, such as issues of self esteem, friendships, and boundaries.  

We believe that learning how to stay safe, confident and strong in the face of conflict goes deeper than knowing how to strike or kick an aggressor.

We believe safety and empowerment is about knowing you are worthy of being safe and respected.

Children learn better by doing than by being told or shown what to do. Practice and role playing in a safe and fun environment can help children be emotionally safer. Like many activities we do, the practice of safety skills is stored in our mind and felt in our bodies as ‘muscle memory’. Children who have practiced how to respond appropriately to different situations are likely to do what they’ve practiced in real life.

A girls-only Environment

When girls participate in female-specific programs it can have a transformative impact, giving them strategies to cope with challenges, take action and create change in their lives and in their communities. Our programs allow young individuals that self-identify as female a space to share and be heard, to listen and support, and to learn from their peers, forging meaningful connection and community.

Jess gave us the kind of respect you almost never get from adults and which you can feel right away
— Eiko, age 14

Arise Team

Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt

Jessie Gordon - Founder of Arise

Jess is an internationally recognized and qualified teacher living in Vancouver, Canada. Originally from England, Jess began her ultimate adventure into youth work over ten years ago. Since then, she has completed her BA Child and Youth Care Counselling from Douglas College and Bachelor of Education from Simon Fraser University.

Jess has over 11 years of experience working with different communities (including LGBTQ, developmental disabilities and those affected by mental health) in the capacity of education, recreation, programming, research and curriculum development.

Having never been a particularly athletic person growing up, it was in 2016 that Jess found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and it changed her life. It was the physical and mental game, along with the community, that kept drawing her back to the mats time and time again and connected her to a new found strength and confidence.

It is from these areas and experiences in her life that Jess founded Arise.

Advisors and Partners