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A look inside My Possibilities Campus for High Learning 

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning in Plano, Texas.

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning in Plano, Texas. All photography by Cori Baker.

With heavy hearts, yet very excited for the future and their next big step, My Possibilities said goodbye to their home on Dorchester Drive in Plano and has now relocated to their new location—My Possibilities Campus for High Learning.

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning in Plano, Texas. Hipster, Hipsters,

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning is the first and only college-style campus for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) in the entire United States.

At the campus, My Possibilities, a non-profit organization which is dedicated to empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, aims to prepare these adults by giving them the tools they need to succeed in the workforce.

Now open and fully operational, My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning currently serves 625 adults with IDD every week, but at full capacity aims to be able to provide service to more than 1,600.

Yet, with more than 250,000 adults in North Texas with IDD—including 25,000 in Collin County alone—My Possibilities understands that this is just one step along a very long road to providing improved service to all those who need it. “Everything we do stems from a belief that we need to constantly improve to reach the highest possibility,” is one of the philosophies behind My Possibilities.

Read more: Meet Abby, a talented artist and a HIPster at My Possibilities

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning, Plano. Hipster. hipsters

HIPster Farah J. is happy to be at the new My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning

INSIDE: My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning has two entrances: one for visitors and volunteers and another for the HIPsters. At the visitor entrance, all glass and bright green walls, a giant interactive TV screen greets visitors in a big bright space complete with a lovely sitting area and view out onto the courtyard.

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning in Plano, Texas. Hipster, Hipsters,

MP Swag Co. at My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning, Plano.

Just inside is MP Supply Co., the My Possibilities swag shop. “We wanted it to be just like a real university,” says Beth Palmer, Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator for My Possibilities. There are t-shirts, sweaters, baseball caps, mugs, pens, pencils and beanies. Some of the most popular designs read, “HIPster Hero” and “HIPster MOM”. There’s even a funky license plate cover.

Before we get to the HIPsters entrance, we pass by the therapy offices where the My Possibilities staff provide a range of different therapies from speech therapy to massage therapy and music therapy.

Read more: The Café at North Haven Gardens

As we move into the principal learning zone, it’s clear that every detail has been planned out according to the specific needs of the HIPsters. “Each component of the campus was carefully designed with Hugely Important People (HIPsters) in mind, and even exceeds ADA compliance requirements,” says Beth. Each corridor and room is color-coded and brightly labelled with symbols which correspond to the badges each HIPster wears which includes their schedule for the day. Each classroom is equipped with specially designed chairs, big windows that flood in natural light, lockers and even a fridge for HIPsters who bring their own lunch.

Inside the Tech Lab at My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning, Plano. Hipster. hipsters

Inside the Tech Lab at My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning, Plano.

On our tour we pass by classrooms of HIPsters enjoying a variety of different classes from Adapted Exercise and Vocational 101 to Martial Arts. In the tech lab a “communications through technology” class is in full swing. There’s even a gym stocked with special equipment such as sand weights, which function exactly as dumb bells but if dropped, on a foot for example, don’t cause any damage!

Inside the Tech Lab at My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning, Plano. HIPster, HIPsters

HIPster Abby loves to sing

We’re welcomed with open arms into the art classroom where the HIPsters are excited to tell us all about the new campus. “I’m glad we got the new building, but I’m still going to miss the old one,” says Devynne S. “It’s overwhelming,” says Amber. We’ve visited on the HIPsters very first day at the new campus so clearly it’s going to take the students some time to adapt. “But I’m happy to be here,” Amber adds.

Read more- Sugar Mountain sno-cones: For everyone—and their dog

Abby, on the other hand, is happy—and very friendly. Abby loves to sing and will be performing at the My Possibilities Community Ball on June 16 (click here for tickets). “Since I’ve been in music therapy my anxiety has gone away,” she says. “I love it so much, I’m in choir here!” Abby is just one example of a happy HIPster who has experienced life-changing results from attending My Possibilities.

For My Possibilities the ultimate aim is to help HIPsters transition into the workplace which is why their patented and one-of-a-kind curriculum focuses heavily on vocational training such as maintaining or obtaining a job, independent living and safety in the home.

The next phase of the campus (pending funding, click here to donate now) is the LaunchAbility Career Center. LaunchAbility is a nonprofit which has now merged with My Possibilities and whose primary focus is job placement. The LaunchAbility Career Center will provide the space and resources needed to get more adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) into jobs than ever before.

My Possibilities

My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning
3601 Mapleshade Lane, Plano

mypossibilities.org

Rebecca Silvestri
Executive Editor
Rebecca Silvestri is the executive editor at Plano Profile. She is also the wife of Philip Silvestri, Publisher of Plano Profile.

In a previous life, Rebecca was a math teacher (in London and the Dominican Republic).

Philip and Rebecca have a little boy named Theo and are expecting a baby girl this July.

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