Project SEARCH Celebrates 2023 Graduates

This year’s Project SEARCH interns worked across different units at ChristianaCare, but they all shared the same goal — developing the valuable skills and work experience needed to help them land a job. The seven members of the Class of 2023 celebrated the conclusion of their internships with a ceremony at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center this month. Judging by their megawatt smiles, they are eager to get to work.

Project SEARCH interns explore career opportunities and learn skills to become valued employees.

Through Project SEARCH, students ages 18 to 21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn job skills through classroom training, mentoring and experience in areas including Pharmacy, Family & Community Medicine and the Helen F. Graham Cancer & Research Institute. ChristianaCare has hosted Project SEARCH since 2011 in partnership with POW&R (Productive Opportunities for Work & Recreation); CIS (Community Integrated Services); Red Clay Consolidated School District; the Delaware Department of Education; and the Delaware Department of Labor’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Interns participate in classroom instruction and career exploration while also receiving training and support. As they develop skills needed to work in an office environment, such as filing, answering phone calls and following instructions, interns also are encouraged to investigate roles that challenge and motivate them.

The program helps interns develop the skills they need, and it also helps build ChristianaCare’s talent pipeline. Over the last five years the majority of Project SEARCH interns have secured a job after completing the program. At least two of this year’s graduates will continue their work in the ChristianaCare cafeteria while another is working in the textiles department at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

ChristianaCare has been part of Project SEARCH since 2011. This year’s graduates and their loved ones celebrated their accomplishments during an event at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center.

“Project SEARCH is a collaborative effort to empower students to become productive, independent, valued employees, and we as caregivers can be the support they need,” said Colleen Reed-Kern, mailroom coordinator for the Newark and Wilmington campuses, who is among the ChristianaCare mentors for the program.

“We treat each intern as if they were our own child and we want to see them blossom to their highest potential.”

Contact Project SEARCH for more information on the program.