What began as the goal of three mothers to create a thriving future for their adult children has evolved into a foundational continuing education program for adults with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD). My Possibilities (MP), established in 2008, provides lifelong learning for adults with IDD such as Down Syndrome, Autism, Asperger's, Prader-Willi, head injuries and more. And it is the first full-day, full-year educational program of its kind in Collin County.

More than 70 classes are offered to the attendees who are affectionately called the program’s Hugely Important People (HIPsters). HIPsters choose their curriculum and can attend half or full-day classes on-site or off-site. There are also opportunities to socialize with friends by engaging in various HIPster Life activities such as bowling or going to a restaurant.

Speech, occupational, behavioral and music therapies are also part of the services offered at My Possibilities to enhance personal development, which will heighten their capacity for impact in the community and at home.

Beginning in October, My Possibilities will offer enrollment in their Employment Innovation School, powered by Bread Financial, which is an inclusive vocational training program.

"We're really excited about this," Chief Program Officer, Shelley Crowder said. "It's going to focus on everything to prepare HIPsters for vocational employment for whatever their vocational journey is, whatever they see for themselves. That may be learning some skills that would help support them in community volunteer opportunities, all the way to true paid employment in a job that they get and go to regularly just like the rest of us."

Employment Innovation School will offer 3 levels aimed at building work-ready skills in 6 track-specific industries:

• Culinary

• Facilities

• Hospitality

• Administration

• Technical

• Retail

The 3 levels begin with pre-vocational, and progress into general vocational and then track-specific industries. While the track-specific curriculum is geared towards a year-long program, there is no set time limit expected for the student to complete the classes. And the school will enhance the already established career services department, which has successfully placed HIPsters in 70+ jobs throughout the community for several years.

“We will be conducting a HIPster interview that will help us gauge what the HIPster is ready for and help us provide the right class. Then there will be assessments built in along the way to help us determine the next step at a pace that works best for them,” Crowder said.

People interested in the Employment Innovation School would fill out an application available through the My Possibilities website, then follow through with a skills-based assessment.

The Employment Innovation School’s ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on North Texas Giving Day, September 21 with the theme “Here We Grow Again.” The emphasis will be on recognizing the positive impact HIPsters make on the workforce and the growth of My Possibilities in their 15th year of service.

“We’re sourcing a fairly untapped market of loyal, very self-directed and uniquely talented workers. It’s great for the HIPsters, but it’s also really great for the businesses who hire them, and for the business impact,” said Rhys Wolf, Marketing and Communications Manager at My Possibilities.

Interested in hiring a HIPster or finding out more about My Possibilities? Visit their website mypossibilities.org. Or visit their campus at 3601 Mapleshade Lane, Plano, Texas 75075.

The above story was produced by Community Impact's Storytelling Multi-Platform Journalist Victoria Schaefer with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team. Our integrity promise to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so they are separate from the content decided upon, researched and written by our journalism department.