Buttons For Change nonPareil
nonPareil Institute was thought into existence by founder, CEO, and father, Dan Selec. Like every parent, Dan desired a good future for all of his children. As a parent you hope the transition to adulthood brings training that will secure a satisfying career allowing them to reach their full potential and provides the financial stability to be fully independent. You hope for them to become part of a community where they have friends to enrich their lives and help give meaning, purpose and fulfillment to life. This desire is only intensified when you have a child on the autism spectrum. Because, as statistics reveal, those with autism may have a very uncertain future. Colleges, universities and most post-school training programs are ill equipped to accommodate those on the autism spectrum.
Similarly, most employers are not prepared to employ those with autism spectrum disorder as seen by the staggering statistic that 90% of adults on the autism spectrum are unemployed. This leaves them to be highly dependent on others for support, which can often lead to isolation, and lack of fulfillment in their lives. Dan wanted to sprout hope in this area of need. With the help of a fellow father with a mission, Gary Moore, they created the idea of channeling the talents of adults on the autism spectrum by providing technical training as well as potential jobs. nonPareil, which means “no equal” describes their unique and proven program.
Their mission: nonPareil Institute is dedicated to providing technical training, employment and housing to individuals who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We hope to one day be partially self-sustaining from the products our Crew build and market.
ABM is lucky to be a part of nonPareil’s quest to raise funds for their institution. Focusing on 1" zipper pulls, nonPareil Crew came up with two designs.
ABM suggested a price point of 1 for $3.00 or 2 for $5.00. Purchasing a button (or 2 or 3 or more) gives buyers the chance to support nonPareil not only by giving money but also by wearing their shiny new button. Buttons are a great (cheap) form of advertising. By donating equipment and supplies, ABM has given nonPareil the ability to add about $3,000 to their coffers. And the crew members another outlet for their unequaled creativity.
nonPareil is building a technology company, taking adults on the autism spectrum and doing something different. They are focusing on their strengths and building those strengths into meaningful skills. They provide skills and job training that focuses on their technical interests and creative abilities, in an environment that understands their unique challenges and provides the necessary accommodations.
The true difference of the nonPareil model is that they don’t just provide training. In the end, the students become part of a working software company that competes in the mobile market place. nonPareil has recently launched a new program separate from the technical program called nP Essentials.
Essentials focuses on social communications and living skills for adults with autism. It provides another avenue for adults with autism who are not ready for the nonPareil technology program or for those who are more focused on areas other than technology.
Not only have they grown in programs, but they have also grown in size. nonPareil has, since opening, grown from working out of a kitchen with two computers to two working facilities. One in Dallas TX and the other in Houston TX. Plans to expand include candidate cities Ft. Worth, TX and Portland OR.
nonPareil recently earned a spot on the 2015 Top Rated Nonprofit List, for the 4th consecutive year, and also raised $62,400 on North Texas Giving Day 2015. nonPareil Institute hopes to create a campus model one day which can provide a lifetime of basic support for those who chose to be a working part of our community.
Since being founded in 2008, nonPareil has been featured on CNN's The Next List with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, NBC Nightly News, National Public Radio and was mentioned in a USA Today article. And, released in February 2015, nonPareil was the subject of "Programming Hope". A documentary feature film chronicling their early years as a non-profit to their current status as one of the leaders of employment solutions for autistic adults.
You can find games and other examples of the nonPareil student's work in the iTunes store or visit their online arcade and learn more about the nonPareil Institute.