As another year of Project SEARCH gets underway, interns are being pushed out of their comfort zones.
Whether they’re learning to use a Vocera device to communicate with the staff at Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS), figuring out how to navigate the hospital hallways or trying new foods in the cafeteria, all the exposure to new experiences is leading to growth, said Tina Angeletti, Project SEARCH instructor.
Project SEARCH gives young adults with disabilities the opportunity to spend an entire school year at LMHS, gaining the training and soft skills they need to transition from school to adult life. Throughout the year they complete three internships in different departments of the hospital.
Project SEARCH is a partnership between the hospital, 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 five students from several local school districts, including:
After three weeks in the classroom, the interns were excited to start their first internship rotations.
Throughout the year, LCBDD will be profiling these students and sharing more about their experiences in the program.
Braedon is now the first friendly face that visitors to LMHS see when they enter the hospital’s main lobby throughout the day.
So far he has enjoyed his first rotation as a front door greeter where he welcomes people and escorts them if they need directions.
He’s done a great job of learning how to get around the hospital and likes chatting with the people who come in, Tina said.
He’s also been working on gaining independence and even if he’s feeling tired, he gets the job done, she said.
Besides enjoying his duties, he’s also been branching out and trying new foods in the hospital cafeteria.
Franklin got some experience doing custodial work as a high school student in the ITEC program. So he was able to jump right in at LMHS’ environmental department.
He’s been wiping tables in the coffee shop, cleaning windows and dusting and is looking to move on to other tasks.
He was also very excited to learn more about how to use the hospital’s elevators.