John Poston has been named a recipient of the Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award, as presented by the One Star Foundation.
For 20 years, Poston has been at the forefront of new programs, services and facilities that help people with special needs achieve their personal ambitions throughout all ages and phases of life.
Poston’s engagement with the special needs community began shortly after his twins were born in 1995. One is a typical child while the other has Down syndrome. One could say their Easter Sunday birth foreshadowed the many ways this occurrence would give new life and new hope to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Poston’s commitment and accomplishments include:
1998: Founded the Rise School of Dallas (now the Ashford Rise School of Dallas at the Moody Family YMCA). The Rise School provides the highest quality of early childhood education services to both typical children and those with special needs. To date, 472 students have been served by this school. Poston also provided invaluable assistance and support as the Rise School expanded into five other cities.
Also in 1998: Founded the TouchDown Club of Dallas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of like-minded men that, through Poston’s leadership, have raised $20 million in critical, sustaining funding for the Rise School.
2000: Founded the Champions (or CHAMPS) League, a multi-sports league at the YMCA for individuals with IDD ages 7 to 25. Poston saw the need for greater participation in sports by individuals with IDD and this unique program pairs a typical person with an individual with IDD. To date, the program has had more than 1,800 participants.
2011: Co-founder of the Stallings Award, a tribute to legendary football coach Gene Stallings and his son Johnny, who had Down syndrome. To date, the Stallings Award Foundation has raised more than $2 million for the Rise School and other Texas charities that provide services to children with special needs.
2017: Founded Good Deed Coffee Company, a commission-based subscription service that aids both independent farmers and salespeople with intellectual disabilities.
2018: Opening Daymark Living in Waxahachie, a first -of-a-kind community for adults with IDD, where they live as independently as possible, take educational courses, receive assistance finding and being transported to job opportunities and achieve their personal best for years to come. Poston developed/founded the concept, secured $28 million in financing and serves as founder and president. Daymark Living has capacity for more than 200 individuals and promotes social engagement for residents and non-residents alike through the affiliated Daymark Social Club.
“Additionally, John has both the head and heart to conceive and execute this impressive list of accomplishments that have and will continue to better the lives of individuals with IDD for years to come in an empowering, sustainable way,” YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas President and CEO Curt Hazelbaer wrote in his nomination letter earlier this year recommending Poston being awarded the honor.