Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Center for special needs adults moves to new facility in Plano
My Possibilities' new location can host up to 170 students.
PLANO My Possibilities, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing special-needs adults for productive lives as members of society, recently expanded into a new, larger facility.
The July 1 move to the state-of-the-art facility, at 1631 Dorchester Drive in Plano, comes after the organization's old Custer Road facility "experienced an unprecedented level of expansion" since its opening in 2008, according to a release.
The new, 22,835-square-foot facility, designed to accommodate about 170 students, has features ranging from a special-needs fitness facility and commercially equipped educational training kitchen, to a technology classroom and art studio.
"The new building and My Possibilities program is a first of its kind -- a facility that has been specially equipped to enhance the everyday learning of adults with cognitive impairments," said Charmaine Solomon, My Possibilities founder and board chair.
According to My Possibilities' website, the center is the first full-day continuing education facility dedicated exclusively to adults with cognitive disabilities who live in North Texas. The center has four programs for its students: MP University, MP Achieve, MP Explore, and MP Create, each designed around developing specific life skills.
Prior to the center's inception, North Texas families with cognitively disabled adults had nowhere to turn after they had graduated high school, said Michael Thomas, My Possibilities executive director. He said many families had low expectations of the new facility, but were subsequently overwhelmed with excitement after touring it.
"For families, they know they can come in every day and get a higher education," Thomas said. "This is the first of its kind and hopefully one of many."
Solomon said the idea to create the program came from mothers who had children with cognitive challenges.
"When my son, Kyle, was graduating from high school, I discovered that there were no quality products that would continue learning and educating my son," she said. "So we set out to create what is now My Possibilities."
The organization serves more than 200 families a week, she said, serving adults from cities around the region including Rockwall, Fort Worth, Irving, Dallas, Frisco, Lewisville, Carrolton, Allen, McKinney, Murphy, and Plano.
"My Possibilities has raised the bar on what is expected for adults with special needs and has changed the lives of adults with special needs and their families within our community -- providing them with purpose, passion and an outlet for their talents and gifts," Solomon said.
To commemorate the center's growth, the Plano Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday at the new facility. Present at the ceremony were local and state officials including Rep. Sam Johnson, state Sen. Ken Paxton, and state Rep. Van Taylor. Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and Larry Young, president and CEO of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, both spoke during the ceremony.
For information on My Possibilities' new facility and its programs, visit mypossibilities.org.
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