An Interview with a CCS Alumna - Karisa Rowse, Class of 2014

Dawn Snellenberger interviewed Class of 2014 alumna Karisa Rowse. Karisa is a recent graduate from Nyack College in Nyack, NY. She graduated with a nursing degree and is currently employed at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT.


Karisa began attending Cornerstone in the fall of 2011. Prior to that, she had attended South Windsor’s public schools and had an overall positive experience. However, when she began high school, she started to struggle a bit. Being a quiet, reserved student, she experienced harassment from other students. Additionally, she found that one of her teachers was presenting questionable material in English class, which she found offensive. After speaking to the teacher about her concerns and being disregarded, she discussed the issue with her parents, and they decided that a change was needed. Karisa wanted a fresh start and enrolled in Cornerstone for the beginning of her sophomore year.

She was apprehensive about the change at first. It was difficult joining a school where many of the students had known each other for years; however, she was comforted by the fact that she happened to be one of three new students to join the same class that year. She also found it difficult to transition from a school of 1,200 to a class of only 18, but she signed up for the basketball team that year and found it to be a great way to meet people and become part of the CCS community.

During her junior and senior years, Karisa found that her personality changed from being shy and reserved to becoming more outgoing. She enjoyed being in a smaller environment and being able to get to know her classmates on a deeper level, due in large part to their shared faith in Christ. She also found that she was able to step into leadership roles because of her

new confidence.

These years were also a time during which Karisa began to “own her faith.” She drew closer to God during a health crisis with her brother. Her faith became further cemented after taking a senior Bible class called Worldviews, which compared Christianity with other faiths and helped her determine what she truly believed. Armed with the knowledge she gained, she graduated with the Class of 2014 and attended Nyack College in Nyack, New York.

Her years at Nyack were challenging, yet they were also years of growth for Karisa. As God often does, He began to strip away some of her comforts so that she would draw closer to Him. It was during these years that her faith grew even stronger. In addition to her spiritual growth, she endured a rigorous nursing program and graduated in May 2018. After passing her nursing boards, she was able to secure a job at Yale New Haven Hospital on a medical floor. She hopes to continue her education and would like to one day work in health care administration.

Karisa looks back on her time at Cornerstone and is thankful for the experience. She says, “I don’t know where I would’ve been if I stayed in public school.” We are thankful for the opportunity to teach young people like Karisa, and we are blessed to watch them walk into the call of God on their lives!

If you are a part of our CCS alumni and would be willing to share how God has used CCS in your life, please contact Dawn Snellenberger at