NTX Magazine Volume 9 - Page 54

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT From its location near the intersection of the Bush Turnpike and Coit Road in Plano, the brand-new campus of My Possibilities blends glass, metal and stone in a way that gives it a bright, modern and notably corporate feel. Ask Executive Director Michael Thomas, however, and he’ll tell you that the real building blocks of My Possibilities are a laser- focus on the mission and unyielding optimism. “At My Possibilities,” said Thomas, “we courageously and relentlessly pursue the full, untapped possibilities of our Hugely Important People, making every day count.” My Possibilities is a non-profit organization that provides adults with cognitive disabilities the chance to continue their education. It’s the first full-day, full-year educational program of its kind in Collin County, serving students from across North Texas with Autism, Asperger’s, Down Syndrome, Prader-Willi, head injuries and more. 52 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG SUMMER 2018 But don’t call them students. They’re HIPsters – short for Hugely Important People – a powerful affirmation that everyone has a meaningful role to play in our community. Of the 7.2 million people who live in North Texas, 4 percent of the population live with IDD (Intellectual and Development Disability). My Possibilities began as the vision of three mothers living in Collin County who, in 2006, discovered that no continuing education programs or services existed to serve their young adult children with special needs. By 2008, My Possibilities was born. Today it’s considered a leader in vocational training, empowering over 425 HIPsters through educational programs in social and communication development, interdependence and independent living skills, creative arts exploration, wellness, and vocational education. Through its community education programs, My Possibilities assists organizations in engaging the disabilities population with greater understanding. In turn, many North Texas businesses are seeking to partner with My Possibilities to fill a variety of positions, from food service to IT to administrative support. Thirty-two companies visited the My Possibilities campus last year for its annual Day of Inclusion, and 36 HIPsters obtained or maintained jobs in North Texas. Ninety more participated in vocational education to hone job skills and readiness. My Possibilities never stops looking toward the future. With the opening of the first building on the new campus, the capacity of its programs can grow by 20 percent, and plans are well under way to expand even more. A newly announced partnership with the Ground Floor program of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas will create a new benefit corporation – or B-Corp – that will allow investors to build a retail center on My Possibilities’ highly visible campus. This center would serve as transitional employment opportunities for HIPsters and provided sustainability for the organization long-term. Granbury, Texas is in the southwest sector of the Dallas-Fo '@ג76&ƗFW0v'FWG&ƗF&Vw&'W'vfW2&W6FVG2Bf6F'2FP&W7Bb&Fv&G2( B6GB6VG'&Vr66R&֗GFDerffW'266RFV6FvƗfrvF66W72FVW&W2VFW2W7B6'BG&fRFvu3srFR6W&6R6VG&Rbw&'W'7FW"VBGW7G&&7GW&VBVgB2C3r7&W2f&Rf"FWfVVBBFP6FR2VBFfBFRVVG2b&WB6VvVG26VFp&WF6W&6BGW7G&W&F2uuru$%U%$rTBrSs2B44ddu$%U%$