Every summer, you can expect to see Miller Kress volunteering at Rise. A proud alumni of one of Rise’s first pre-kindergarten classes, this active Memorial High School student’s favorite assignment is in the Green Room working with four year olds. Miller’s younger brother Blakeley was born with Down syndrome and entered its first class for toddlers in 2000. There was no question that Miller would also attend Rise with Blakeley, even though she does not have developmental disabilities. Miller never saw a difference between her classmates with disabilities and those without: each was just a friend. Miller’s mom also applauds Rise’s academic and social preparation for her daughter to succeed in K-12. With its very low 3:1 student to teacher ratio, Miller received intense one-on-one and group instruction and was reading several grade levels ahead when she entered public school kindergarten, thanks to Rise teachers. But Miller doesn’t care about the academic prep. She just recalls the camaraderie, field trips, shared milestones, celebrations and fun with her Rise classmates. Today, her former Rise classmates attend different high schools but most keep in touch. And all look forward to the annual Rise Alumni picnic and swim party each August.