Tessa needed a new place to learn, a place that would meet her needs emotionally, academically, and socially. According to Tessa’s parents, her school just wasn’t able to get the best out of her. This is the case for many students that come to Elim from environments that just aren’t equipped to provide the help that is needed for each individual student.
While students come to Elim for many different reasons, for Tessa the need was simple. She needed to be taught in the way that fits how she learns, and she needed to prepare for a future where she could gain the skills, she needs to thrive.
Elim was the first place Tessa’s family sought out for her. They recall that while interviewing at Elim, they encountered some of the nicest people they have ever met. Tessa’s parents say that, “Elim truly understood Tessa’s disability. In fact, Tessa cried because she felt so comfortable there.”
Tessa was not able to attend Elim right away, though, because the school works hard to find the right opportunity for each student, meaning there is often a wait to become enrolled.
When the family came back to Elim the second time, a spot was open for her and everything fell right into place. Tessa’s family was so thankful that God had the plan all figured out!
According to her parents, Elim has been phenomenal in engaging their whole family, bridging home and school in order to help Tessa learn. Her parents wanted Tessa to build some basic skills to help her both in school and in her future.
Her teacher, Ms. Lee, came up with unique and motivating ways for Tessa to build basic office and computer skills. First, Tessa was assigned to assist in putting together the new curriculum program binders by unpackaging materials and organizing, labeling, and assembling them. When those were completed, she started helping in the technology lab. She was eager to learn about the computers and was able to figure them out on her own.
Ms. Lee reports, “Every new task that is thrown at her, she is capable of doing! If Tessa is pushed to do something more, even if she is hesitant…she will rise to the occasion.” The sky’s the limit for Tessa!
Tessa has her own space in the technology lab, and Ms. Kelly and Mr. Tony (Elim technology staff) truly consider her part of the team. She currently works with them three times a week, and she makes sure to let them know if she can’t help out on a particular day. Her skills have been a great match for assisting the team in the lab.