Project SEARCH at Kennedy Krieger Institute is an internship program that helps individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 transition from school to work. It provides interns with a total workplace immersion experience through hands-on job training, career exploration and mentoring from experienced hospital staff members. Each intern participates in an unpaid, 10-month internship that includes three 10-week worksite rotations and a variety of employment training workshops. The Project SEARCH model was founded in 1996 and has been replicated throughout the U.S. and internationally.
Here, we profile one of Project SEARCH’s interns, DeVonte Clemons, a rehabilitation technician for our physical and occupational therapy departments.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I’m DeVonte. I love dancing. I love singing. I love dragon fruit tea. And I’m kind, not mean, and confident.
Q: How did you become involved with Project SEARCH?
A: My school chose me for Project SEARCH because I was a role model for freshman, and people looked up to me. And I was always helping around school and showing people where classes were.
Q: What are some things you’ve learned while working with Project SEARCH?
A: How to treat patients, [and to] ask for help if you have trouble with something.
Q: What is your best memory, so far, from Project SEARCH?
A: My best memory about Project SEARCH is when we first took a tour [of Kennedy Krieger], because at first I always got lost, and now I know where to go.
Q: What does Kennedy Krieger mean to you?
A: Kennedy Krieger means to be respectful, treat people like you want to be treated, and always try your best.
Q: What is your dream job? What are your plans for the future?
A: A firefighter and a traveling nurse.
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