Project Search Birmingham will hold a graduation ceremony on Monday, May 9 in Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium at UAB.
Project Search is a one-year school-to-work program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school. The program seeks students who are highly motivated to pursue competitive employment in the community.
The progress and achievements of the 2016 graduating class were rewarding for members of The Project SEARCH staff, which included instructor Rolonda Williams and job coaches Alex Faust and Faustina Williams.
“It is an honor to celebrate our interns, all of whom came to us as high school seniors and – within just one year of training –have gained an understanding of appropriate work behaviors and ethics in the workplace,” the team says. “Even though our participants have completed the Project SEARCH curriculum, they continue to prove that they are determined and independent, as well as capable of meeting and exceeding any expectations set before them.”
Students gain independence, maturity, self-esteem, work-based instruction, coaching and feedback.
Students participate in up to three internships at host sites to explore possible career paths. UAB Hospital Internship sites include environmental services; materials management; facilities and patient transport.
Each student works with an instructor, two job coaches, his/her family members and a rehabilitation counselor to create an employment goal and to support the student during the transition to the working environment.
“The program not only improves the quality of life for people with disabilities but also seeks to change how others view people with disabilities when hiring for nontraditional and complex roles,” say staff members. “Upon completion of Project SEARCH, interns reveal their ‘abilities’ instead of their ‘dis’-abilities.”