AdventHealth Redmond has partnered with Floyd County Schools for their Project SEARCH program for six years to help students with disabilities prepare for successful employment in the community. The hospital recently held a graduation ceremony for the Project SEARCH student interns to celebrate their accomplishments and completion of the program.

Project SEARCH is a national program modeled on a unique work transition program that partners with a local business to place student interns entirely at the workplace for the full school year. During this time, student interns participate in on-site classroom instruction as well as hands-on training through department job rotations within the business.

At AdventHealth Redmond, the Project SEARCH student interns have a dedicated classroom space on the hospital campus for instruction, career exploration and training. The interns also rotate through various hospital departments to develop job skills. Each intern interacts with the department leader and their department mentor to learn and practice their new skills. This year’s interns rotated through nutritional services, environmental services, materials management/supply chain and the laboratory.

At the graduation ceremony, student speakers shared how they grew over the school year and how much they loved the program. Family, friends, Floyd County School staff, Superintendent Dr. Glenn White, Project SEARCH instructional coordinator Debra Miller, hospital team members and Mike Murrill, president and CEO of AdventHealth Redmond, were also in attendance.

“I am so proud of myself because some days were not easy, but I’m a hard worker. I have learned that I enjoy organizing, cleaning and talking with patients,” said Chloe’ Simms, a graduating student intern.

“I have learned so much at Project SEARCH. Not only learning how to do certain jobs, but also about soft skills. I also learned so many other things, especially about myself. I’ve learned to push myself harder, work on getting faster, build my strength, advocate for myself, become more responsible and learned that my possibilities are endless,” said Chase Fowler, a graduating student intern.