SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
Eight Project SEARCH Volusia County students received their high school diplomas on May 26 during a ceremony held in the auditorium at Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach honoring the program’s first graduating class in Volusia County.
Students in the inaugural class of Project SEARCH Volusia County included Arianna Almo, Stephanie Campbell, John Hawk, Tasha Issac, Leonard Jamison, Cristian Lozada, Heather McGinnis and Clayton Morales.
The graduates, who were enrolled in Volusia County Schools Exceptional Student Education program, had completed their senior year at their respective local high school, but had their diploma deferred for a year of special job-coached internships at Halifax Health and other community job sites.
Five of the eight graduates have been hired by Halifax Health in various ancillary support positions. In addition, two students have been hired by other local businesses, while the final student is expected to receive a job offer soon.
“Halifax Health is extremely proud to participate in this very special program. With the special job skills training they have received, these students have graduated into the next stage of adult life with the help of motivated job coaches, teachers, family and co-workers,” said David Hall, director of volunteer services for Halifax Health.
The Project SEARCH High School Transition Program is a unique, business-led, one-year school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace.
Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations.
The program provides real-life work experience to help youth with significant disabilities make successful transitions from school to adult life.
Halifax Health is a host site for this nationally recognized program and its successful local joint venture between Volusia County Schools, Progressive Abilities Support Services (PASS) and the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.