Kerissa’s Story

Where Kerissa Started

When Kerissa began at Cornerstone in 2017, at 13 years old, her love for makeup, hair design, and music was immediately embraced by the staff, but she struggled with several challenging behaviors that affected her ability to learn and become more independent. She only had 15 out of the 157 applicable Milestones from the VB-MAPP assessment and didn’t have a mode of communication that worked well for her. She struggled with self-help skills and needed physical prompts from her therapists in many daily living areas, preventing her from having the freedom and autonomy that all teenagers deserve.

How Kerissa Improved

Kerissa began using a dedicated Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device as her mode of communication and now spontaneously communicates in full sentences with her device. This has helped increase her ability to express her wants and needs, complete programming and communicate more with those around her. She has worked hard on becoming more independent and can now complete all steps of her daily hygiene and mealtime routines, and complete other life skills such as doing the dishes and laundry. Kerissa has now mastered 150.5 Milestones from the VB-MAPP assessment and we are so proud of her and all of her hard work!

Kerissa is now 18 years old and is graduating from Cornerstone in June 2022. She will be attending an adult day program where she will go on community outings and continue to build her self-help and daily living skills with others her age and within the community. We will miss playing Just Dance and watching makeup tutorials with her, but we are so excited for the opportunities she will have on her new adventure!

Click here to watch Kerissa’s Graduation Slideshow!

Kerissa's Graduation Speech