Shawnee Mission School District congratulates students who have completed their time in Project SEARCH. Prior to stay-at-home orders this spring, these students dedicated their time at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, strengthening their workplace skills and preparing for future careers.
They supported numerous departments throughout the hospital, including but not limited to the Intensive Care Unit, Surgery Center, and the Britain Development program.
At the conclusion of the program this year, Project SEARCH students created presentations describing how the program strengthened their interpersonal and employment skills and offered advice to future Project SEARCH participants. Special Education teachers also created and sent a virtual ceremony to honor those who completed the program.
Working in the ICU, Mary Brazeal helped with stocking and organizing items to support the department. The opportunity helped her learn how to manage in a work environment, handle a busy schedule, and to show initiative, she reflected. Brazeal described the learning environment as very different from the high school classroom in multiple ways.
“At Project SEARCH you have to be serious and you have to wear uniforms every day,” Brazeal said. “You are an adult and you are in charge of yourself.”
Grace LaGarde fulfilled multiple duties, including those in the catering and dining areas at the medical center. LaGarde’s favorite part of the job was meeting new people and being social with customers, including doctors and nurses, LaGarde shared.
Junior Santos spent his time supporting the laboratory and said his experience in the program helped develop skills in teamwork, problem solving, and communication. Santos offered the following advice to Project SEARCH students:
“Don’t give up and don’t be scared because in the future there’s a lot of beautiful stuff that will happen, so that means go find your future and take it because it is yours,” Santos said. “The future is in your hands.”
Speaking on behalf of all department managers, mentors, and everyone in the AdventHealth community, Amy Milroy, business liaison, expressed a word of thanks and congratulations to all of this year’s Project SEARCH graduates.
“We are incredibly grateful for this Project SEARCH class’s contribution to our organization. We missed them immensely the second half of this semester but we are excited to see their future careers,” said Milroy.
Teachers and mentors missed seeing the students this spring, but hoped the virtual ceremony would serve as welcome memory of the school-to-work experience for students, Sherry Dumolien, special education director said.
“The Shawnee Mission School District wishes you the very best upon your next adventure,” Dumolien said.