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Project Search celebrates students for completing internship, earning jobs

Project Search students at graduation

The Socorro Independent School District Project Search program celebrated a completion ceremony May 24 at The Hospitals of Providence East Campus in honor of the students who successfully finished an internship program designed to prepare them for the workforce.

The students from Pebble Hills, Montwood, Eastlake, Socorro, and Americas high schools participated in a yearlong internship at the hospital, working in different departments to develop employability skills.

Monica Gasca, Project Search instructor for SISD, said the program's team was excited to welcome parents and employers to share the highlights of the students’ hard work and journey throughout the program.

“The students have worked extremely hard all year,” Gasca said. “We are happy that the majority of our students have managed to gain employment as a result of this program.”

Project Search is an international program and one of Socorro ISD’s transition programs for students with disabilities to help them transition into the workforce.

The goal of the program is to assist students with special needs to be prepared for and to acquire paid employment after high school.

Seven of the nine interns had secured employment by graduation and the remaining three will continue working with Empowering Hands, the employment service agency that is partnered with SISD, until they find permanent employment.

Ariana Rivera, a senior from Pebble Hills High School, was excited to be wearing her cap and gown.

“I’m happy to be graduating from Project SEARCH,” Rivera said. “I learned a lot and got hired.”

Luis Ponce, a senior at Socorro High School, said he was happy to have been hired upon completing the program.

“This makes me feel good,” Ponce said. “I really like this program.”

With the national average of employment for individuals with disabilities under 19 percent, Project Search is creating opportunities of a lifetime by equipping the students with many abilities and skill sets to use in the workforce and assisting them to acquire jobs after graduation.

Project Search graduation event photos

  Published June 27, 2022

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