Project SEARCH 2018/19
Our Sixth Year!
It's that time of year again. Our sixth year of Project SEARCH is in full swing! Our seven new interns have already begun their rotations in various departments, including 5 West, Child Life, CDU, MICU, Peds Specialty Care Unit, Carrie Tingley Inpatient and Inpatient Rehab. As always, we want to give a huge thank-you to all of the various departments at UNMH that continue to support Project SEARCH to help our interns gain the skills they need to achieve employment and independence in our communities.
What is Project SEARCH?
Project SEARCH is a one-year, post-high-school transition program which provides training and education opportunities to help individuals with disabilities find employment in today’s competitive workforce. The program is led by UNMH in partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools, Best Buddies of New Mexico and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. Our goal at Project SEARCH is to provide our interns not just with employment, but a future! We work hard to provide full workplace immersion in a professional setting while teaching transferrable, marketable skills. It is part of the Project SEARCH philosophy that our interns feel that they are an important part of the departments they work in. We strive to make sure that both the interns and the employees in the departments feel encouraged and excited about this internship!
Meet Some of Our Interns!
“I’m Diego. I graduated from Atrisco Heritage High School in 2017. I worked with the City of Albuquerque in Parks and Recreation. Right now, I am an intern in 5 West assisting at the front nurse’s desk, checking Pyxis inventory and other tasks. I would like to be a wildland firefighter one day.”
“Hi, I’m Tyler. I graduated from Rio Grande High School in 2017. I was employed at AUI construction before Project SEARCH, where I repaired motors and other machines. I’m a member of Zia Free Wheelers, and I love everything about trains. I’d like to be an engineer one day.”
“Hello, my name is Celeste. I graduated from West Mesa High School in 2016. I really want to go to school to become a pediatrician. I like working with kids and working in the hospital. I am learning a lot in this program.”
A Day in the Life of a Project SEARCH Intern
The interns will be at the hospital from 7:45 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., following the APS School calendar.
We have class from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. every morning when the APS instructor works with the students on skills pertaining to both the workplace and independent living. This time is also used to go over interview skills and workplace etiquette. During class time, we also enjoy guest speakers who share real-world experiences with the interns. Guest speakers include current UNMH employees and interns as well as people from the community. It is part of the Project SEARCH philosophy that our interns feel that they are an important part of the departments they work in. We strive to make sure that both the interns and the employees in the departments feel encouraged and excited about this internship!
After class, at 8:45, the interns leave to be at their respective internships by 9 a.m. Some of our students even ride the shuttle to offsite locations! While at their internships, they are expected to work closely with staff and mentors to gain skills, as well as be an integral part of the department. We have weekly or bi-weekly meetings to check on progress and develop strategies to overcome challenges and celebrate successes.
Project SEARCH Wants You!
There are plenty of ways you can get involved with Project SEARCH! Volunteer to be a guest speaker in one of our morning classes or practice your interviewing skills with the interns. To find out more information or to learn how you or your department can get involved, please call (505) 872-6800, ext. 0.