Rising Up Adventures





To protect client privacy, the above photos are not actual photos of Rising Up clients

 but are social enterprise guests, or clients of national partners.

To protect client privacy, the above-photos are not actual survivors of trauma, but reenactments,

or photos from our national partners that do not work with our clients.

Transforming Lives through Adventure

Our Accomplishments

  • 50 Survivors​ Empowered in 2019

  • Over $65k earned through bike & paddle adventures for Miami's visitors as income for our programs for survivors.   Can triple this income with a one-time investment. 

  • We are self-funding our work through social enterprise, while creating a global network of support.

  • Developed evidence-based therapeutic curriculum. 

  • Poised for 150 Survivors for 2020 

By the end of 2019, we will have brought 50 survivors of violence; human sex trafficking, domestic violence & youth in foster care into the outdoors to heal.  We are working with 10 new survivors each month in 4-week programs that deepen friendships and increase resilience.  We plan to take over 150 survivors on month-long programs in 2020.

After struggling, legs shaking on the boards and moving through into confidence against the sunset, we are making an impact in the lives of Miami's survivors.  Often, with violent attacks, the trauma becomes stored in the body so that survivors can be triggered with intrusive thoughts and emotional reactions throughout the day.

Moving through anxiety on the boards and bicycles allows the survivor to systematically move through stored physical trauma in the body, in a controlled environment, and anchor new realities of moving through the trauma into empowerment.  

"What meant the most to me is that you stuck with me....what I really needed was someone who would stick with me when I'm really struggling."

"The sun will rise and a new day will dawn for me.  I am now finally able to get my attack down on paper."


Evidence-Based Curriculum  


We have launched a pilot study of our curriculum designed to increase resilience.  Our pilot study indicated 100% of our clients increased their resilience by an average of 15%.  Resilience is what enables people to move forward in life despite hard times, it is the characteristic that survivors develop when they use their difficulties to uncover unique strengths and develop strong personal stories so that they can often help others in similar circumstances.

Empowering Survivors of Violence

As a survivor of a violent attack, our founder launched Rising Up Adventures after spending 2.5 years traveling the country rock climbing.  She found that, when moving through the climbs, she would shake with body mechanics, which triggered the trauma of the attack.  She was forced to keep going on the rock, so she didn't fall. This repeated ability to move through outdoor challenge despite intrusive traumatic thoughts desensitized her to fear, and she emerged stronger because of the challenges life brought to her. 


Now, with a Master's in Nonprofit Management and many years as an outdoor guide and training with the Mayo Clinic, Rising Up Adventures has taken survivors of human sex trafficking, domestic violence, and foster youth on paddle and cycling adventures, where they push themselves in the outdoors to work through their triggers with confidence in the presence of supportive peers who become life-long friends.  


We are fundraising for a $65,000 Zodiac boat, and $27,000 for 6 months of a captain's salary so we can carry 10 passengers & their paddleboards quickly to safety as CPR can NOT be performed on a paddleboard.  With Miami's frequent wind and lightning storms that happen suddenly, this safety aspect is vital.    


This boat will also generate enough income through our market tours to sustain our operations indefinitely.  We have paused our paddle adventures to fundraise for the safety boat.

DONATE  TODAY so we can resume our important work with survivors on the water, while generating a global network of support.

Social Enterprise Funding

Through a pilot launch of paddle and bike tours to Miami's visitors, we have generated over $65k in a year and a half by taking over 1,000 of Miami's visitors on paddle and cycling adventures.  We are creating a global network of adventure philanthropists who want to stay involved as donors and volunteers. These paddle and bike adventures are funding our work with survivors.  With a one-time investment for the safety boat and related expenses, we can scale our operations to triple our income in 2020 and fund our programs indefinitely.

"The physical act of paddling became a vessel through which I could move through my depression on the water, paddling through it, one stroke at a time.  The people paddling with me became soul friends."

Therapeutic Paddle & Bike Adventures

 Our research-based 4-week adventure bike & paddle curriculum brings Miami's women & children survivors of violence into the outdoors to heal.

1. Increased Resilience

Move through graduated challenge, increasing their resilience in the face of obstacles.

2. Free from Intrusive Thoughts

Enter a state of mindfulness or flow by focusing on "not falling" becoming free from intrusive thoughts.  

3.  Increase Social Support Structure

Form deep social bonds

4. Physical Exercise in Outdoors

Receive the benefits of physical exercise in the outdoors.

5. Social Enterprise

Our therapeutic adventures are fully paid for by our social enterprise tours in the marketplace.


Fundraising Goals

 We are fundraising for a Zodiac boat as a safety vessel for the following reasons:





CPR cannot be executed on paddleboards. 

Often clients paddle over a mile from an exit point along the sea wall, meaning CPR upon exit will be too late.

Safety from wind & lightning. 

Miami gets wind gusts in excess of 20 mph, and frequent unforecasted lightning.  Without a boat, it is impossible to move safely to shore away from danger. 

Serve more clients

With a boat, we can serve twice as many clients, so that we can serve over 100 on month-long programs annually.

Financial Sustainability

We have suffered over $18,000 loss due to weather cancellations. without a boat.  With a boat, we can safely conduct market tours in a variety of weather conditions, generating funds to sustain our operations indefinitely!

Zodiac Pro 7

This boat is commonly used for sightseeing and wildlife viewing tours on the bay.  It can safely navigate in turbulent and choppy waters, and is often used for Marine Patrol.  We will have ladders added to enter waters, along with a canopy that can secure paddle boards.  

The Zodiac does not have to stay in protected coastal zones like pontoon boats.  They are made to safely navigate choppy waters.  As windstorms, with gusts over 20 mph frequently occur in the bay, a vessel that is made to quickly move to protected sides of islands or away from weather is crucial.

The speed and size of this boat create a personal adventure.  Visitors can be brought on special adventures to places such as Stiltsville, Viscaya, etc. 

Zodiac Boat

Safety Vessel &

Income Generation

What our clients say...

“While being so busy with trying not to fall, you forget everything around you. Once I managed, I could just look around to the sunset and lights of the city and stars with a completely clear mind, not thinking about anything else.”    

“I was nervous before getting out there. Not just for the fear of falling, but being embarrassed in front of other people if I couldn’t stand up. It proved to be an extremely empowering experience and I was more than glad that I did it and conquered it.”
I was dealing with grief and depressed, and paddle boarding ended up being an experience that helped me. In the experience, the physical act became a symbolic event of my rising from my depression and confidently paddle my way through it with confidence and support from peers who became soul friends
I was nervous at the start of the experience. Cara and the team gave me words of encouragement and the time to figure it out and ease my nerves. I never felt pressured. As I continued to paddle, my knees stopped shaking, and my confidence started to grow…I was stunned looking at the photos.  I could not believe that was me standing in the middle of the ocean!  It made me feel confident and inspired me to try it again!”                           

Our Founder

From Rock Climbing around the country, to paddling in Hawaii, read the story of our Founder, Cara Sadira, the Executive Director and the steps she's taking to improve the lives of trauma survivors in Miami

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Rising Up Adventures is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, registered to accept donations in the state of Florida. Registration number: CH54861.  A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free (800) 435-7352 within the state. You can also check the registration status at: https://csapp.800helpfla.com Registration does not imply endorsement approval, or recommendation by the state.

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