We are Thankful

November 24, 2021


As we prepare to pause and share gratitude with friends and family, Rise High is taking a moment to reflect on this past year.  This was a year of transition, going from a pandemic and only virtual interactions to getting back to in-person program.  It was not like flipping a switch.  It took a lot more than that, and we are grateful for all who committed in the midst of uncertainty, even when having to do things differently, and not necessarily easier.

We have a lot of people to thank, but we will start with the students and families because they are why we are here.  We can’t be prouder of our students’ resiliency and adaptability.  It has been quite a process for them, and they continue moving forward and upward.  We were thrilled to see you again!! And families, thank you for trusting us in keeping your kids safe!

Special thanks to all instruction contributors: NY Water Environment Association, Catapult Games, Tech Valley Game Space, GE Women’s Network – Capital Region Hub, GE Global Research Center, RPI Engineering Ambassadors, and Shenendehowa Central School District Robotics Team. Thanks for making our come back possible, strong, and in-person!!  During the technical sessions, our students were supported by our mentors Sherif Mohamed, Tom Citrini, Aida Amroussia, Andrew Berner, Joe Christian, Alex Ashby, Brandon LaFleur, Jen Nechamen, Arnyah Brown-countess, and Corrine Coleman.  We appreciate your commitment and willingness to get involved during a time that still posed uncertainties.

This Fall 2021 program required significant digital and technology support.  This would not have been possible without the leadership of Andrea Schmitz, and support from Alex Renna and Tom Citrini.

There are many details to keep track on a daily & weekly basis.  The operations were supported by our Executive Director Omayra Padilla De Jesus, Director of Education Stacey Giordano, Daniella Carranza Hernandez (RPI, senior biochemistry student), Mary Kate Palleschi (Skidmore College, senior student), Clarkson University Graduate School Master of Arts in Teaching students Michael Burgess and Audrey Martino, and Deb Lee. They made sure all details of the day were running smoothly, safely and in time.  Our students were also kept nourished and energized during a full morning of learning thanks to the meals team, Terri Little, Chris DeLuke, Sheila Canabush, and Jeannine Plis.

Special thanks to Clarkson University Graduate School and Proctors Theatre for opening your doors to Rise High and making in-person program feasible.  We appreciate you!

Finally, we are thankful for the generous financial and technology contributions from The Little Family Foundation, The Broughton Foundation, International Gaming Technology Advantage Program, The Carlilian Foundation, A Still Small Voice4You, and AT&T.  Thank you for believing in our mission and for supporting it!!

To the whole Rise High community, Thank YOU! Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!