In 2007 a group of Plano moms was faced with a dilemma: Their children, who live with disabilities, were becoming adults and their options were limited in terms of continuing education.
After much searching, they decided to start a nonprofit organization for adults with disabilities in 2008. Today, My Possibilities serves more than 350 adults living with disabilities such as Aspberger’s, autism and Down syndrome, offering the first full-day, full-year continuing education program in Collin County for disabled Texans who have aged out of secondary education.
The nonprofit is rolling out its newest program, Kyle’s Cabin, in July. My Possibilities already teaches job skills, but until now there has not been a way to use social living skills outside of the classroom, Executive Director Michael Thomas said.
“Kyle’s Cabin is the extension of the classroom and the beginning of community-based residential training, so [our students] are going to get their feet wet with living independently,” he said.
Each HIPster, or Highly Important Person, graduates from the nonprofit’s university which helps students practice work and socialization skills. The introduction of Kyle’s Cabin, named after co-founder Charmaine Solomon’s son, will bring independent living skills into play, Thomas said.
Participants will spend the weekend at a house in Plano and experience what it is like to practice proper hygiene habits and perform household duties on their own.
My Possibilities employees Grady Howell and his wife, Kelsey, will live at Kyle’s Cabin full-time. At the end of the weekend, they will evaluate each guests’ stay. The goal is to rotate HIPsters through Kyle’s Cabin periodically to see if they are improving and what other areas they might need help in, Howell said.
“We really want the students to learn multiple independent living skills, anything from waking up on time to kitchen safety to social interactions outside of both My Possibilities and their own home,” he said. “We want them to leave with skills that could benefit themselves and their family unit.”
“My Possibilities has so far out-dreamed my plans and has become so much more than I expected. [It] continues to grow and expand due to the deficit in needs,” Solomon said. “I feel very proud and excited about what we have achieved as an organization in such a short space of time. I am so proud of all the community support that My Possibilities has garnered in support for adults with special needs.”