My Possibilities, which caters to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, received Plano's Green Business Certification this month. Photo courtesy of city of Plano.
Aug. 31, 2018
A Plano campus for adults with cognitive disabilities was recently recognized for its green savvy.
My Possibilities, which caters to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism, Asperger's and Down's syndromes, received the city of Plano’s Green Business Certification for its eco-friendly features this month.
“Being green is a standard that we have set,” says Beth Palmer, a school spokesperson, says. “We talk about being green in classrooms, and we overall stress it.”
My Possibilities opened the 22-acre Campus for Higher Learning in May. The college-like center was founded in 2008 by Charmaine Solomon, who discovered North Texas lacking in quality full-time continuing education for her own son with special needs and his friends post-high school.
The 22-acre sustainably-built campus opened in May.
Today, the school’s two-story 40,000-square-feet building serves more than 450 students weekly.
Sustainable features to the new building include recycling bins in all classrooms and throughout building, energy efficient HAVC system, automatic lighting throughout building, irrigation system that senses rain flow, low-e-glass-windows, automatic sinks and toilets, daylighting, motion sensor lights, LED lighting, native adaptive landscaping and bike racks.
According to Palmer, My Possibilities’ former building was also green certified by Plano as it had some of the aforementioned eco-minded features.
HIPsters planting tomatoes in a large-scale hydroponics system at Amelia’s Farm in Bells, Texas. Photo courtesy of My Possibilities.
The school received more green news this month when Green Mountain Energy announced it was awarding My Possibilities with a $200,000 Sun Club grant. Half will be used to buy a hydroponics greenhouse and fund a horticulture program. The other half is designated for a 160kW rooftop solar panel system, which requires an additional $60,000 to be raised to complete the project.
Palmer said My Possibilities’ students, who are called “HIPsters” (Hugely Important People) are "hip" to being green. Some students are chosen to be a part of a HIPster’s green team, wherein they practice green initiatives such as encouraging staff and other HIPsters to recycle, clean up trash and use recycled products.