My Possibilities construction delayed due to construction cost gap; help educate adults with disabilities

My Possibilities needs our help.

Just days before the pandemic hit, My Possibilities (MP) expected to break ground on Building Two of its Campus for Higher Learning. Its three-year $25 million capital campaign was complete, and construction aimed at helping 1,000 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities each month was imminent. 

And then…

Today, plans are back on track with hopes to begin construction in the first quarter of 2022. But there’s a $2 million hitch. Prices have increased for all materials needed for the building: concrete, steel, the works. 

So the capital campaign is being restarted in order to fill the construction-cost gap, says Michael Thomas, executive director of My Possibilities.

MP is the first full-day, full-year continuing education and job placement program in North Texas that gives adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) a chance at higher education. That includes neighbors with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and many more diagnoses. Adults who attend MP are affectionately known as Hugely Important People, or HIPsters.

(Editor’s Note: Read stories about some of the HIPsters.)

In its existing building, My Possibilities operates educational programs that teach life skills, independent living skills, social and job skills, and therapeutic and vocational training courses. 

“After the second building is complete, the first building will be focused on life skills and the second will primarily focus on vocational training, featuring a business school environment that mirrors systems applied in traditional collegiate models,” Thomas says.

In addition to being the vocational training hub, the second building will house administrative offices, a commercial kitchen and cafeteria where My Possibilities can offer healthy meals and customized dietary plans. 

STATS:

250,000 North Texas residents have an intellectual and/or developmental disability
8% with IDD are employed
52% of adults with intellectual disabilities leave high school without a diploma
62% of parents of adults with disabilities don’t have a future plan.

So why is this project important?  

“The numbers are staggering,” Thomas says. “Four percent of the population has intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are 7.2 million people in North Texas, so that means roughly 250,000 residents in the region are ones with disabilities. Currently we serve 600 HIPsters monthly; with the new building we will be able to serve 1,000 a month.  

“There is no such thing as a vocational training program for people with disabilities. Our hope is to establish one that organizations similar to My Possibilities will be able to observe and similarly implement in this field,” Thomas says.

“HIPsters comprise a highly employable group of individuals who just need training and a chance, just like everyone else.”

All of us can be campus champions. 

Individuals, corporations, foundations can donate today and close the $2 million expense gap brought on by pandemic delays. 

Visit mypossibilities.org or call 469-241-9100 and find out how you can help HIPsters realize their potential.

My Possibilities

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