One of our assisted employees is the amazing Monica Gaseor. Monica came to her family when she was six months old, having been first in a loving foster home where she went after she was born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Monica has always been energetic and curious, ready to try new things. In grade school and middle school she did swimming, volleyball and horseback riding. She also began singing and dancing at an early age, working with theater programs such as TUTS, HITS and Dionysus Theater.
Monica went to high school here in Houston at Gateway Academy and after graduation went on to VAST Academy (part of Houston Community College), where she was a student leader, participating in Eagles Club and volunteering at Cunningham Elementary. It was there that she realized that she had a passion for working with children. Seeing that, VAST Academy program director, Sue Moraska, suggested to Monica that she apply to work here at Rise.
Because of her work in local theater, Monica was able to participate in national auditions and be chosen by film-maker Josh Tate to star in his movie, Loveland (2014), which premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival, where it won both the audience award and a special jury prize. Monica would like to act again once things become safe again after COVID.
When not working at Rise in the Green 2 room, Monica can be found working out, hanging out with friends or traveling. She particularly enjoys going to Peru to visit with family.
At Rise we have great expectations. Those expectations focus on our children, but extend through staff and beyond. Christopher Scott, one of Rise’s most enthusiastic employees is a perfect example of always reaching for the stars. Though born with a development challenge, Chris has risen to a position in life that exemplifies dedication and passion.
As a teaching assistant at the Rise School of Houston for the past 12 years, Christopher is in a position daily to inspire fellow staff members, parents and children with and without disabilities. In his work and his life, he is a constant and remarkable reminder of the possibilities in life to achieve goals and make dreams come true.
Beyond his work at Rise, Chris co-starred in the movie “My Brother” in 2007, playing the part of an adult with Down syndrome who inspires his adult brother to “do the right thing.” “My Brother” won the juried award for best picture at the Black Film Festival in Miami in the fall of 2006. The Founders Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Cinema was awarded to Chris for his role in the film. Chris was honored by the Robert Horry Foundation as a “Hero” for his work at Rise, his work in the community, and his work in film. More recently, he has filmed public service announcements for the National Down Syndrome Congress.
As a Houston native, a product of the Houston public schools and community college systems, an active and productive member of the local community, and a long standing Houston Rockets fan (he was a 2008 Clutch City Champion!), Chris is a wonderful example of never underestimating the capacity of each human being, regardless of their age or challenge.