PRESS RELEASE: James Hillhouse to honor a senior excelling past the stereotypes of autism

Latrice Hampton
203-907-6618 (cell)
James Hillhouse to honor a senior excelling past the stereotypes of autism
When:             Wednesday June 1, 2016 5:00 p.m.
Locations:      James Hillhouse High School (Auditorium) – 480 Sherman Pkwy., 06511
James Hillhouse Principals
Mark Caruso, Coordinator                 
Building Leaders, Teachers, Paraprofessionals
What:             Quiana Copeland a senior of James Hillhouse High School will be receiving a distinguished award for “Writing and Illustrating Literature for Children” as well “Excellence in Art” on Senior Awards Night on tomorrow, Wednesday, June 1st.
At the age of four Quiana Copeland was identified as a student on the autistic spectrum. To express herself Quiana learned to create models with clay to share her thoughts and feelings. As she developed she used pencils and pens to draw characters and write short stories.
Presently, with technological advancements she uses a program called ‘Clickr 6’ to write, illustrate, and even narrate books. As a result she has expounded her vocabulary and receives the adequate support to support her writing passion. The software has motivated Quiana to continue to strive to expound upon her capabilities, interests, and potentials. The software company has featured Quiana’ works an example of excellence.
“Quiana has been in the New Haven Work Experience Program for the past year and has been working at TJ Maxx in Hamden.  Quiana has done a great job at her worksite.  She works along with another student and a job coach. She has completed her four years of high school and will be transitioning into the Off Campus Classroom Program next school year.  This program takes place at an all-day community site where students learn all aspects of participating in the work force and learn responsible social skills.
We are excited to have Quiana in the Off Campus Classroom Program and will collaborate with James Hillhouse High School, which is her home school.  Special arrangements have been made at Hillhouse and the Off Campus Classroom Program for Quiana to return to her school and work on a computer set up for her.  Quiana has a unique talent for writing and illustrating children’s stories.  This is very therapeutic in bringing out more language skills that will assist her in her adult life.   We feel that this talent needs to be addressed and nurtured so we can keep these skills going.  We look forward to having Quiana in our program,” said Coordinator, Mark Caruso.
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**Photo/ Video opportunities and engagement with parents and students.