Project SEARCH Open House 2013
On Saturday, July 13th, the Smithsonian Institution held its first Project SEARCH Open House. The Smithsonian Institution is incorporating a Project SEARCH program for the first time, during which students (typically between the ages of 18 and 22) with cognitive disabilities are able to gain experience and training as interns.
Job coaches, professional training, and several different internship sites are made available in order for Project SEARCH interns to build their resumes and transition smoothly and successfully from schooling to the workplace. During their senior year of high school or soon after graduating, valuable employment skills and knowledge are gained through extensive training and career exploration as the interns are immersed in a business setting. Promoting self-advocacy and Independence Project SEARCH encourages valuable life skills among its interns. The Smithsonian Institution has partnered with Ivymount School and SEEC in order to make its upcoming Project SEARCH program possible.
At the Open House, eleven future Project Search interns along with their families and SI staff were in attendance meeting each other and familiarizing themselves with the program, which begins in September. Under Secretary of Finance and Administration Al Horvath welcomed the new Smithsonian interns and their families. Dr. Richard Kurin, Under Secretary of the History of Art and Culture, also spoke giving a brief history and overview of the Smithsonian, which was exciting for the new interns.
The incoming interns and their families were able to familiarize themselves with the Smithsonian, meet the other Project SEARCH families, and prepare for the coming year.