"I want to go to college to meet new friends, get involved in activities and learn new things to get a good job. I think I want to be an artist or art teacher. I like working with people."

Elli Walker

Middle School Student
Overland Park, KS

"Project EXCEL is an idea whose time has more than come. Services for developmentally disabled young adults that include the possibility of higher education have been sorely lacking in this region, and perhaps across the country. For me, the most important outcome from such a project is that it would provide a way for accessing the enormous potential of these individuals, an outcome which will benefit all of us."

Linda L. Edwards

Dean, School of Education
University of Missouri-Kansas City

"Young adults with developmental disabilities can be lifelong learners, if only they have the opportunity. For most individuals with developmental disabilities, exiting the public school system is the end of the line to learn and grow as individuals. The EXCEL program will provide the opportunity for these young adults to gain independence, new skills, and the self confidence they need to become functioning and included members of society.For most of us, post-secondary education is when we learn who we are and what we want to do with our lives. Individuals with developmental disabilities need to have a common experience tailored to their individual needs so that they too can develop into full adulthood."

Wynne Begun, PhD

Director of Special Education
Blue Valley School District