Project SEARCH graduates seven from Grady Memorial Hospital program

DCBDD is proud to recognize seven students who recently completed and graduated from Project SEARCH at Grady Memorial Hospital.

project-searchProject SEARCH is a business-led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration. What’s even more impressive? This year, six of seven graduates have already received job offers due to the program’s training and the students’ hard work, while one student is moving out of state. This year’s graduates include Jim Sagan, Chris Maguire, Katie Bright, Patrick Wingert, Ashley Henry, Yasmine Owens, and Laura Hayward.

Each year, up to eight students are accepted into the Project SEARCH program. To be part of the program, the students must be seniors in high school, have completed all of their graduation requirements, and must interview for the position. The program is through the Delaware Area Career Center (DACC) and funded by the student’s school district and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). DCBDD helps students apply to the program and works with Project SEARCH to help conduct the interview process.

Once accepted into Project SEARCH, each student completes a rotation of three internships at Grady Hospital that challenges their ability to work, plan, and problem solve. Jobs range from stocking nurses’ carts and working in the cafeteria to greeting guests and looking for expired items in the hospital supplies. Students are also taught job and interview skills. This employment training assists students in obtaining job opportunities after graduation.

At the Project SEARCH graduation ceremony on May 16th, Anna Hensley, Chief Operating Officer of OhioHealth, said, “This is the fifth year we have been working with DACC. These individuals (the graduates) have put in almost 6,000 hours this year while helping our patients. On behalf of the entire leadership team, thank you!”

In a 2011 statement, Grady Hospital’s Director of Growth and Development, Ben Shaffer said, “When we were approached by community partners about bringing Project SEARCH to Grady, we knew it was a strong program with a great reputation. It was the perfect way for Grady Memorial to give back to the community and give deserving young adults the tools that they need to be successful.”

Project SEARCH originally began at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 1996, and has grown to more than 210 programs in 40 states and five countries.

Congratulations to this year’s graduates on completing the program and finding employment!