Bear POWER - Promoting Opportunities for Work, Education and Resilience for those with intellectual disabilities.

104% of $50,000 goal
This campaign ended on June 17, 2017, but you can still make a gift to Missouri State University by clicking here!

We need your help to provide the ultimate college experience for individuals with disabilities! MSU is developing a new, two-year inclusive college program for people, ages 18-26, with intellectual disabilities called Bear POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Work, Education and Resilience.)

Initial funding is needed to get the program up and running, to provide a dedicated staff person and for student scholarships.

Bear POWER will be modeled after successful programs at other universities. These programs provide education beyond high school for students with intellectual disabilities and provide the support they need to succeed in the on-campus setting.  This builds confidence, life skills and educational experiences providing an increased opportunity for future employment and experiences. 

Bear POWER is still in the planning stages, but it will include a residential component so these students can experience campus life. Plans also include a student led volunteer organization called Bear Blazers who will provide support and integration within academic and social settings. 

Upon completion, these students will receive a certificate and walk at the graduation ceremony alongside their peers. Collaborative partnerships will be made with community partners to provide internship experiences and employment for Bear POWER students post graduation.

Please make a gift today and become an advocate to help make this program a reality and help set the Bear POWER students on the path to success! Thank you for the generous donation of $10,000 from Rich and Jana Bachus to help start Bear POWER at Missouri State!

If you have any questions about this project, please contact

You will receive a receipt by email for your tax-deductible contribution. Thank you so much for your support! 

Missouri State alumni that make a qualifying gift of $25 or more receive an Active Alumni Member card.

Campaign thumbnail photo: Used with permission. © Lifetouch National School Studios Inc. 

To read a transcript of the video, click here to download.

Bear POWER Donor Update

Dear Parents, Students, Donors and Future Donors!

We are excited for our first cohort of students to be on campus in just a few months. Thank you for all your support in making Bear POWER a reality for students and families.

We now have an office space on campus in the newly renovated Hill Hall! We do not receive funding from the University so we were excited when one of our amazing student volunteers, Ryleigh, created a Bear POWER Amazon Wish List that we are calling our SUCCEED LIST. What a great way for friends of Bear POWER to help us SUCCEED!

The items on our list were specifically chosen to help our office, staff, students and future students alike to better succeed in the future of our organization. Items range from $5 to $96 with a total list of approximately $800. 

Please help our staff and students by purchasing an item or two and see the creative ways we use them throughout the year! We would love it if you could share this SUCCEED Wish List with anyone who may want to contribute an item. Thank you again for your support!!!

*We also have a brand new Bear POWER t-shirt (the super soft, vintage-style shirts), custom designed by our Service Learning Student Hannah, we are only 15 shirts away from our goal of selling $50 shirts.

2074 days ago by Bear POWER

Friends of Missouri State Bear POWER-

We have some exciting updates to share with you and potential students and families - please feel free to share this information with anyone who might be interested in applying to the program or volunteering. 

  1. We are now accepting applications for the first cohort of Bear POWER students who will start in January 2019 – you can find the application and information about admissions, program cost and program details here
  2. Thanks to our friends at Pioneer Advertising, you will see digital Bear POWER Billboards around Springfield at these locations: Sunshine/US 65, Chestnut/Glenstone, Battlefield/Lone Pine, US 65/Division, Kansas Expwy/Battlefield
  3. A Bear POWER Comprehensive Transition Program application was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, upon approval Bear POWER students can qualify for pell grants (if they meet all criteria)
  4. You can now find Bear POWER on the Think College interactive search map
  5. We’re recruiting Bear Blazer student volunteers – if you know of Missouri State students (graduate or undergraduate) who would like to get involved in our program have them email us at  

How can you stay connected to Missouri State Bear POWER? Subscribe to the Bear POWER blog here and be sure to “like” our facebook page

Thank you for your support of the Bear POWER program at Missouri State University!

2269 days ago by Bear POWER
Bear POWER Program Update & GIVING TUESDAY


With the end-of-year quickly approaching, we wanted to take a minute to send an update regarding the Bear POWER program at Missouri State University. Your generosity and support has helped bring this program to life and we can’t thank you enough!

We’re excited to announce that the first cohort of Bear POWER students will start in January of 2019!!! An open application process will begin online starting spring of 2018 and interviews with the MSU Bear POWER team will follow.

We will also be hosting a Summer Leadership Retreat, which will take place on MSU campus in June 2018. Up to ten potential students will have the opportunity to spend two nights on MSU campus and be integrated into the college experience. Parents will be provided the opportunity to attend learning sessions. The Summer Leadership Retreat will be final piece of the admissions process.

Last month, our Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) application was completed. The CTP details our inclusive program model and will be submitted to the U.S. Dept of Education in January 2018. Upon approval from U.S. Dept of Education, Bear POWER Students can qualify for federal pell grants.


Tomorrow is GIVING TUESDAY! We are currently raising scholarship funds for future Bear POWER students. If you would like to make a gift you can do so by clicking the link to donate online: All money raised will go directly to future Bear POWER student scholarships!

Thank you for your continued support of Bear POWER. We wish you all the best this holiday season.

The Bear POWER Team

Connect with Bear POWER on facebook

2364 days ago by Bear POWER
We have met the Matching Challenge!

THANK YOU donors, for helping us meet the matching challenge opportunity offered by CFO! We sincerely appreciate the support of CFO and are so happy to announce that we have officially exceeded our goal! You all are amazing! #MSUBearPOWER

2529 days ago by Bear POWER
CFO is providing a matching grant for Bear POWER

We are very excited to announce a special matching grant for Bear POWER that is generously being provided by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks!

They are providing $3,000 in matching funds to help us reach the goal!  In order to have some time to promote this match and to allow for verbal pledges to come in by check through mail, we have extended the campaign until Friday, June 16th.

Any gifts that were made on June 7th through the end of the campaign will be matched dollar for dollar until the $3,000 has been met!  Community Foundation of the Ozarks will be issuing a check at the end of the campaign, so please be aware that their match won’t show up in the campaign total until the very end.

This is a wonderful opportunity and we are so thankful for the support of Community Foundation of the Ozarks!  Please share this opportunity on social media so that we can take full advantage of this matching grant.  Thank you everyone for your support of Bear POWER!

2536 days ago by Bear POWER
THANK YOU for your support!

Thank you so much for the amazing support of Bear Power!  Each and every gift is appreciated!  We have confirmation on checks that are being mailed in that will bring the total to $42,280!

There is one day left, and we are so close to the $50,000 goal!  We need your help to meet the goal!  Please share this campaign again on your social media and think of someone that you can email and ask to support the campaign!

2538 days ago by Bear POWER
Corporate Matching Gift!

A special thank you to Jordan Heinz State Farm for his gift and for submitting it as a Corporate Match from his employer - State Farm!

Did you know that many companies will match their employees' gifts? Maybe even double or better yet, triple their gifts? Many companies will match their employees' contributions to qualifying charitable organizations. Directors, retirees and spouses of employees may also be eligible for a match. To find out if your company has a matching gift program, search our online database  of over 8,800 matching gift companies.

If your employer is found, specific instructions are provided and some companies have forms to download. If you do not find your company or detailed instructions, simply contact your human resource office for more information.

2571 days ago by Melanie Earl

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