Growing up in San Jose, CA, Carissa developed a love for the various cultures that make up the San Francisco Bay Area. This led to her degree in Intercultural Studies (2014) from William Jessup University where her compassion only grew deeper through her position as Campus Ministries Outreach Coordinator. She gained experience organizing outreach trips to local ministries in the greater Sacramento area, serving with YWAM San Jose, and leading multiple short-term mission trips to San Francisco, Portland, and New York City.
Carissa always knew she wanted to serve vulnerable urban youth, but after a visit to NYC in 2009 she developed a passion for NYC specifically. After studying and preparing to develop an urban youth ministry in NYC during her college years, Carissa moved to the Bronx in 2015. And after a few years of more learning and training in NYC through Global City Mission Initiative, she started what is now known as Uprising, a grassroots youth initiative in the Bronx. Carissa regularly mentors, coaches, and shares the gospel with youth & their families in one of the city’s most challenging neighborhoods. To learn more about Uprising, click here!