OLD SAYBROOK, CT – August 2019 – Vista Life Innovations, a nationally accredited post-secondary program for individuals with disabilities, held its 2019 graduation ceremony at The Kate in Old Saybrook. This year's graduating class includes Sarah Brachman, Alex Nicholson, Chris Piotrowski, Rob Richardson, and Connor Wood.
Vista Life Innovations would like to thank keynote speaker Lori Payton, Ph.D., State Senator Paul Formica, State Representative Devin Carney and State Representative Noreen Kokoruda for their speeches.
This year's keynote address came from Lori Payton, Ph.D., the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Portfolio & Program Management at Sage Therapeutics. Lori is uniquely qualified to speak about living with a disability. As a new mother with a rising career, she triumphed over a life-threatening diagnosis of acoustic neuroma after brain surgery and months of rigorous recovery. Lori's story of perseverance, determination and tenacity is an inspiration to all. Much like Lori, this year's graduates have overcome obstacles to become independent, achieve their goals and continue to challenge themselves.
The graduates also spoke about their experiences. Chris Piotrowski explained, "Coming to Vista was a big step for me because I had never lived away from my parents...Over the last few years I had a lot of teachable moments, some challenging and some easy. One of my favorite moments was getting my first paid job."
A celebratory reception followed the ceremony on-site under the tent at The Kate. Friends, family, community members and state legislators congratulated the graduates with a ceremonial cutting of the cake and photo opps.