The St. John’s Masonic Lodge of McKinney presented its Community Builders Award Jan. 25, honoring Amanda Cramp, president of Open Horizons Life Enrichment and Education Center.
Open Horizons is a nonprofit organization that offers habilitative services for adults with special needs through enrichment activities such as spending time outdoors and exercising.
Born and raised in McKinney, Cramp always had a love of teaching. In high school, she took every volunteer opportunity to assist in special education life skills classrooms. After graduating from Texas Woman’s University with a bachelor’s in early childhood education and a minor in child development, she worked as an in-home life skills trainer for various families and provider agencies. She has taught general education, kindergarten and second grade with McKinney ISD.
Cramp is also an active member at Christ Fellowship Church, allowing her to utilize her other passions – helping others and giving back.
After giving birth to her son who had severe health complications and cognitive delays, Cramp also adopted her special needs brother after the loss of her mother. It was at this point she was having difficulty finding a local program that provided opportunities for her brother to thrive independently, so she and Lindsay Langton began to dream of a program that would directly serve the needs of special populations community with hands-on enrichment experiences.
The state allows those with developmental delays to attend public schooling only to the age of 18-22, depending on their cognitive level of abilities. Afterwards, many families struggle to find programs for their loved ones to keep active and engage in productive activity. Open Horizons offers five acres of outdoor space to allow clients the unconfined opportunities to grow.
According to the lodge, its Community Builders committee unanimously voted that Cramp would receive the award this year.
The Community Builders Award was established by the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1991 to formally recognize those citizens who distinguish themselves through their service to the community, the local, state or national government, to their church or synagogue or to humanity. It is the highest award a Masonic Lodge can present to an individual or group outside of the Masonic Fraternity.