As the sixth year of Project SEARCH gets underway at Licking Memorial Health Systems, the list of departments that are positively impacted by its student interns continues to grow.
This year, the ten interns — easily recognizable in their green polos and navy pants — can be found in the LMHS buildings on West Main Street and Tamarack as well as the main hospital building.
Project SEARCH gives young adults with disabilities the opportunity to spend an entire school year at LMH, gaining the training and soft skills they need to transition from school to adult life.
Project SEARCH is a partnership between LMHS, the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, the Licking County Educational Service Center and Greenleaf Job Training Services, Inc.
This year’s group includes students from several local school districts, including:
Even when parts of the hospital are being renovated — such as the hospital cafeteria — interns have been flexible and excited about trying new things, said Tina Angeletti, Project SEARCH instructor.
They are helping out at vaccine clinics, in the hospital’s rehab units and in its community wellness center.
They’ve also returned to internship positions in departments, such as cardiology, that were not available last year because of the pandemic, Tina said.
Although COVID-19 restrictions still limit their interaction with patients, they are able to spend more time helping specific departments during a busy time, she said.
Throughout the year we will be profiling these interns and sharing more about their experiences in the program.
Using a checklist, Eli can often be found in the hospital hallways, making sure the boxes outside each door are stocked with supplies.
Although he lives in Baltimore, Eli attended Watkins Memorial High School and was excited to participate in Project SEARCH at LMH.
As a purchasing intern, he said he really enjoys stocking.
Brooklyn has spent her first rotation learning some of the administrative tasks that help the hospital’s Human Resources department run smoothly.
The Granville High School student has learned how to make copies, assemble packets of information, type up notes from meetings and care for the office plants.
She was excited to go through training to learn how to use the hospital’s phone system so she can transfer calls and check voicemails.
Although she said she’s enjoying her experience, Brooklyn shared that her ultimate goal after Project SEARCH is to get a job at a preschool or daycare, working with young children.