Meet Maria Gutierrez—She will be a Project SEARCH student at Children’s Village this fall. Maria, who prefers to go by Lupe, is 18 years old and attends Davis High School. This is her first year in Project SEARCH and she is excited to learn many valuable work skills to help her obtain and retain future community employment. She can be shy but is very social after she gets to know someone.
Project SEARCH is a national employment and high school transition program for adults with developmental disabilities to receive on the job training and support which helps them be successful in their jobs.
The program originated at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital over a decade ago. Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital became a partner of Project SEARCH in August of 2007. Through Project SEARCH, students apply and interview for three 12-week internships during the school year to help them gain valuable work skills and start building their resume.
The High School Transition Program is a one-year educational program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school. It is targeted for students whose main goal is competitive employment. The program takes place in a healthcare or business setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process through continuous feedback and application of new skills.
A typical school day includes:
- Classroom instruction in employability and independent living skills
- Participation at one or more worksite rotations
- Lunch with peers and co-workers
- Feedback from the instructor
Individualized job development and placement begins after the rotations are completed. Students are given support through on-the-job coaching and work site accommodations with the ultimate goal of independence.
We’re happy to have Lupe with us at Children’s Village!