High Hopes News & Events

High Hopes Development Center is honored to have been awarded the designation as a 2017 Top Workplace!


The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an independent employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement.

"The Top Workplace award is not a popularity contest.  And oftentimes, people assume it's all about fancy perks and benefits." says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics.  "But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health.  And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day -- the employees.  Time and time again, our research has proven that what's most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it's going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together."  Claffey adds, "Without this sense of connection, an organization does't have a shot at being named a Top Workplace."

Click HERE to learn more about High Hopes' recognition!

High Hopes was EXTREMELY HONORED to be the beneficiary of the
Purity's Moosic City DairyPure Dash!

Purity DairyPure Dash Logo

          Print        and        Rett University Logo Square


hosted workshops for professionals and family/caregivers:

Closing the Learning Gap for Complex Children

All Engaged, All Communicate, All Learn!

Learn. Develop. Challenge. Grow.
~Using AAC soft & high tech tools~

NBJ Women of Influence


Join us in congratulating Gail Powell, High Hopes Developement Center Executive Director, on yet another leadership recognition by the Nashville Business Journal.  Gail has already received two consecutive Williamson County Impact Awards for the difference she helps make in our community, and now she is receiving a Women of Influence award as well.  Powell will be recognized at the February 9th Women of Influence award banquet at Gaylord Opryland.  Mayor Megan Barry, a Women of Influence alum, will be the guest speaker at the event.

High Hopes is very thankful for the leadership and compassion of Mrs. Powell!

High Hopes Celebrates Ribbon Cutting of Three New
Playground Play Structures

High Hopes was pleased to recently dedicate four new structures on the playground.  Interactive playhouse structures have been custom-built by through funding from local businesses, to feature brightly-colored and whimsical portrayals of community landmarks including Moody’s Tire & Auto Service,Regions Bank, and the Franklin Theatre Presented by Morgan Stanley. Additionally, Karen’s House was constructed in memory of long-time board member, Karen Karcher.Karen's House Dedication Filmstrip

Karcher served on the board at High Hopes from 2006until her death in April 2015. She faithfully served as board secretary for four years. Through the generosity of friends and family, a lasting tribute to Karcher, “Karen’s House”, was constructed. Additionally, the HCA Foundation matched  gifts given by employees ofHCA where Karcher worked for many years. The bright, cheery structure includes a pint-sized kitchen and table & chairs and features canvas prints of some of Karcher’s photography on the interior walls. More than 50 guests were on hand for the dedication.


Children will learn about visiting their local bank as they “drive through” the new Regions Bank “branch” on the playground at High Hopes. Represented with the Regions logo and color scheme, children can also crawl through a tunnel into the neighboring structure. Regions’ Greater Williamson County Market President, Marty Martin, “loves the creativity” involved through this partnership. With Regions Bank’s mission aimed at making life better, the partnership is a natural fit.

Since 1944, Moody’s Tire & Auto Service, has served Williamson county as a full service automotive repair and tire center. And now in 2015, children with and without special needs will be able to drive up, fill up their pretend gas tank, and work on their car, wheelchair, or walker at the “new” Moody’s/Goodyear Tire Center on the High Hopes playground. Owner Jimmy Moody, as well as Goodyear representative Darrel Bumbalough, were quickly on board with this project to support the programs of the development center. High Hopes is honored to have this pillar of the Franklin community collaborate to bring fun and educational opportunity to all the children.

Nothing says downtown Franklin like the Franklin Theatre. Since the summer of 1937 when the marquee first illuminated Main Street, folks have had an enduring romance with the theatre. Princesses, dragons, teachers and doctors….where do you find all of these in one place? In the new “Franklin Theatre” on the playground at High Hopes Development Center! Thanks to the generosity of Morgan Stanley employees, the theatre proudly displays“Presented by Morgan Stanley” on the marquee and provides an incredible place for children with and without special needs to imagine and dream about their tomorrows together.

Following the desire of Morgan Stanley to be involved with the nonprofit in Franklin that serves over 500 children and youth annually, Client Service Associate Kyle Ashmore led the charge as employees raised the dollars needed to sponsor the play structure. Employees from all three Nashville-area branches gathered for a lunch concert by Grammy award-winning songwriter Tim Nichols. Nichols has been involved with High Hopes for almost 20 years and humbly shares his story and commitment to the organization. In addition to the concert, employees participated in an in-house silent auction. Not only did employees raise the needed funds, they gained new insights into their coworkers!

Ribbon Cutting Filmstrip

Because of the commitment of these local sponsors, hundreds of children will have the opportunity to dream big dreams whether on the stage of the “Franklin Theatre: Presented by Morgan Stanley”, learning to cook in the kitchen of Karen’s House, driving through the local Regions Bank branch or taking care of their “wheels” at Moody’s.  Big dreams for an unlimited tomorrow, isn’t that what every child needs?


  • Upcoming Events

    1. Talbots In-Store Fundraiser

      August 24 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    2. Special Needs All Access Night at Discovery Center

      August 25 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    3. Great Americana BBQ Festival

      August 26 @ 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
    4. Special Saturdays at Christ Presbyterian Church

      September 9 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am
    5. High Hopes Family Picnic

      September 15 @ 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
    6. Free Autism Workshop at Vanderbilt

      September 16 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Testimonial

    "Teachers & therapists love the work they do"

    Meet our Elle.  Born in June 2010, Elle was six weeks early and spent almost two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit learning to eat properly and gain weight.  At six months, we began noticing Elle was not meeting typical goals, like rolling over.  At 14 months, Elle still wasn't pulling up or talking, so we contacted Tennessee's Early Intervention System (TEIS) who said Elle had a Global Development Delay and recommended High Hopes.

    Elle began physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy weekly at High Hopes' Therapy Clinic at 16 months of age.  Shortly after, Elle began attending High Hopes' Preschool and ...

    Learning to "eat like a boss!" ~ Anaya

    Anaya came home from Arkansas at 15 months old.  She had the most vibrant personality and we were smitten with her immediately!  At 15 months, she had never eaten food orally, nor even knew what that required.  She had a feeding tube as her main source of nutrition.

    We had a friend recommend High Hopes and we began seeing a feeding therapist there.  The feeding therapist was so sweet and patient with us as we learned how to teach this phenomenon we call "eating."  We worked together empowering Anaya to do it and she made incredible improvement!  After 6 months at High Hopes Anaya became completely independent of the tube.  Within one year of  Anaya being home, she had her t...

    Miracles Delivered through High Hopes ~ Caleb

    Caleb was born a perfectly healthy little boy July 11, 2012.  Two weeks later our world was turned upside down when he developed bacterial meningitis.  This  journey resulted in a month-long stay at Vanderbilt and life-long effects for Caleb of significant frontal lobe brain damage and risk of seizures.

    Caleb is our little fighter and has always had several guardian angels watching over him.  We came home from the hospital with no idea whether our son would walk, talk, eat well, or function as a typically-developing child.  We only knew we wanted to provide him with the best resources possible.  We sincerely believe it was one of those guardian angels who led us to be introdu...

    A Journey of Success ~ Caroline

    Our journey with High Hopes began in January 2006.  After relocating to Nashville, we were looking for a place for daycare and therapy for our then eight-month old daughter, Caroline, who was born with Down syndrome.  What we found in High Hopes was so much more.

    Because of its unique setting, High Hopes has provided Caroline with a nurturing and caring atmosphere where she not only has gone to school, but also has received the many therapies she needs to thrive.  It gave us the comfort of knowing she was being cared for by compassionate teachers and therapists in a safe environment.  It was important that what Caroline was learning and workin...

    From a tragic beginning to a hopeful future: Meet Grayson

    Grayson was born with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.  His withdrawals were so severe, he was in the hospital for three and a half months and was considered one of the worst cases of withdrawals that the nurses at Vanderbilt had ever seen.   As a result of his birth circumstances, Grayson often experienced respiratory distress and was diagnosed as significantly developmentally delayed.

    At 7 months, Grayson began receiving Physical, Occupational, Speech and Feeding therapies at The Therapy Clinic at High Hopes.  His therapists encouraged and supported the family while working to overcome so many obstacles and celebrated alongside them when they were...

    Meet Hatcher

    Hatcher, Stories of HopeHigh Hopes changes lives. My son, Hatcher, came to High Hopes at age one with Down syndrome and leukemia, unable to walk or talk. As a divorced mom with the responsibility of two older children and a baby that required multiple treatments and medical appointments, I could not work outside our home and applied for food stamps just to feed my children.

    When we arrived at High Hopes, we found help,...

    Read More Testimonials »

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