HOMETOWN HERO: Pyramid Incorporated

Image 1 of 12

With every brushstroke, Kaiesha Morris' world becomes a little brighter.

"I love to draw. That's the best thing. I get bored and I get paper and draw. I draw people, cats, dogs, rabbits…" said Kaiesha.

Each time she visits Pyramid Incorporated in Tampa, she gets a blank canvas and the opportunity to create.

"This is a place that allows people to be themselves, and that takes a lot of heroism and strength,” explained Carlos Pons.

Pyramid is a non-profit organization providing education and art programs to adults with developmental disabilities. Kaiesha has been a student at Pyramid for ten years, and she says it’s where she discovered her passion to paint.

"They make me happy and tell me I'm doing good and everything. And tell me I'm the best artist," said Kaiesha.

Carlos is one of her art instructors. He says when it comes to painting, Kaiesha is a natural.

"I don't know that anybody ever told Kaiesha before that she was amazing at it, just naturally. So when somebody is encouraged to do what they do naturally, and they do it well, then of course they're going to be happy about it," said Carlos.

Whether it's painting or dancing or singing, Pyramid gives all their students the chance to discover and explore.

"They find little things about themselves that make them unique as artists," said Carlos.

It's painting cats that gives Kaiesha purpose. And it's that same kind of enthusiasm that Carlos brings to work with him each day.

"I don't think you come to a place like this thinking it's a job because there is a lot of heart in it. And there's purpose. So of course it's a job, but at the same time, I don't think it's what keeps people here, you know.”

For Kaiesha, it's forming relationships with people like Carlos and being able to express herself through art that has kept her coming back to Pyramid for more than a decade.