Dupree Edwards.

MIHEC Student Profile: Dupree Edwards

My gift is in the performing arts, and I’ve been cutting down my hours bagging groceries to free up time for school now that the [Minnesota Inclusive Higher Education Act] passed. Trust me, I’ve got the time for this. I want to go to school for theater and the performing arts.

I want to increase my theater opportunities, get more roles, and get paid to be an official artist. I want to learn about Shakespeare. He was a good philosopher, with good English literature skills, and they still teach about him in schools. He could also help me with my rap writing; his rhymes and philosophies could just make me a better creative writer. I like the poetry of rap, I like the beat. And Shakespeare can really teach me word play. He was really good at that.

There are more opportunities for college for people with disabilities now and I think it’s awesome. They don’t think about day programs, like I did. They think about jobs. They think about college. They think, "I want to live on my own." I’m so happy for those students because they have the opportunities and resources I wish I could have had.

Now, it’s my time to go back to school. I have lived independently in group homes and apartments my whole adult life. I’m in my early 30s now, and am a teaching artist with Upstream Arts in Minneapolis, in addition to working at the grocery store. A lot of people back in the day didn’t really think about all this, so I’m really happy about the way education is turning out. It’s good.