The Cartwright Family

I am incredibly fortunate enough to have found my “home”. The place where I found myself living, thriving and part of a family. I found my “home” in 2012 when I was a recent college graduate, trying to forge my path in the world. Unsure of where I was going and who I wanted to be, I came across the Rise School. Working part time in the After Care program and occasionally as a substitute, I quickly discovered this was an amazing world where children of all differing abilities could come together and learn from one another. Highly qualified teachers and therapists work as a team, along with family members to help students reach milestones. Some of these milestones are achieved in spite of doctors’ future predictions at birth, such as walking, talking and even playing with peers. I had found my “home” and I would do everything in my power to help Rise and the incredible community that belongs here.

I received my graduate degree in order to become the lead teacher in the Ladybug Classroom and had the opportunity to see, firsthand, the power of inclusion on a daily basis. While, I understood the impact that inclusion had on our community, it wasn’t until I had a child of my own, that I truly valued this preschool as more than an educational experience. My husband and I had our son, JP, in the summer of 2016. I always saw myself as being a stay-at-home mother, but it was about six months after JP joined our family, that I realized I was missing a part of who I had become. I had spent the last four years of my life engrossed in the Rise world and Rise model and knew that I had to come back. Nervous, as any parent is, sending my child to preschool, the teachers knew just how to help my child grow and meet milestones, but ultimately to care and help all peers in his classroom. I love our car rides home, when he tells me all about his day and friends that he played with. My favorite moment thus far as a parent was a couple week ago when he told me, “Some friends need help and that is okay”.

I have found my “home”. The place where I am part of a family of staff and caregivers. The place where I live to see students, including my own, meet necessary milestones and learn to love and care for one another. The place where I thrive in the abundance of support for my child and tenacious community. Please remember to donate for Colorado Gives Day, this December. It is, because of schools like Rise that all children and families flourish in and out of the classroom environment.

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