CEO Club, BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program bring NonPareil to campus

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    TCU students in the CEO Club and BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program in the Neeley School of Business are reaching out to a program that assists adults with autism.

    Seniors McCall Grimes and Grant Eason are hosting “A Night With nonPareil” tonight as part of their legacy project in the Next Gen Program to raise awareness and support for nonPareil . The Next Gen Program sponsors the event.

    NonPareil is a non-profit organization based at SMU’s Plano campus geared toward providing technical training to students who have been diagnosed with autism and its counterpart, Asperger’s syndrome.

    Grimes and Eason’s legacy project is a part of the capstone course in the Next Gen Program called the Leadership Challenge, Grimes said. The challenge is an open-ended project that must include leading others, serving and leaving a legacy within the community, he said.

    “We want to see nonPareil meet their vision,” Grimes said. “Our goal is to help them build their network and grow and ultimately provide an opportunity for adults with autism after they graduate high school.”

    Gary Moore and Dan Selec, who each have teenage children with autism, founded nonPareil two years ago with the goal of providing an opportunity for adults with autism after they graduate high school, according to the organization’s website. The mission of the event is “Social Entrepreneurs redefining Life for Adults with Autism.”

    Grimes said the mission refers to the unique opportunity that nonPareil provides for adults with autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

    “There is no place in the entire world like this where adults with high-functioning autism can go and be understood,” Grimes said.

    According to its website, nonPareil has a four-step vision. Currently in phase two, the ultimate goal of nonPareil is to create a live-in campus that provides working, training, medical, dining and entertainment facilities for people with autism.

    The envisioned campus environment is intended to allow the adults with autism to live as independently as possible while providing them with necessary support in areas where they need assistance.

    NonPareil students have already produced an application for the iPhone and iPad called Soroban, a math tool that, according to iTunes, is “an abacus realized on the iPad.” It is the first for-sale app from nonPareil.

    McCall said as it gains more students, nonPareil will continue to produce more computer programs, games and apps.

    Eason said tonight’s event will begin with a meet-and-greet with the founders and volunteers from nonPareil. Afterward, Grimes and Eason will introduce their legacy project, and then Gary Moore and Dan Selec will speak about social entrepreneurship and the development of nonPareil.

    Grimes said the more people know about nonPareil, the greater the opportunity will be for growth. The program is targeted toward anyone who is interested in autism or social entrepreneurship.

    “There is this growing worldwide need, and nonPareil is trying to meet that need by creating value in the community and having this non-profit, self-sustaining business that is not just a charity,” Grimes said.

    “A Night With nonPareil” sponsored by the Next Gen Program

    When: 6 p.m. today

    Where: BLUU Auditorium.

    More information about nonPareil can be found at npitx.org.

    The Soroban app can be found on the iTunes App store.