As the school year ends across the country, this year things are a little different….or a lot different. But that didn’t stop the Project SEARCH team at Marshfield Clinic Health Systems from developing a unique send-off to celebrate the achievements of the Project SEARCH interns.
This past Thursday evening eight interns were treated to a “drive-thru graduation”. Marshfield Clinic Health Systems agreed to close one of their parking lots for the ceremony. As interns came through the circle drive, they received their completion certificate, dinner treats for their family and presents from staff. Once they had their graduation pictures taken, they exited the lot while supporters cheered them on with homemade signs and shouts of congratulations for a job well done. There may have been a few tears as everyone wished interns well on their next adventures.
COVID 19 and the stay at home order completely changed the interns’ world, and could have caused some of them to give up or quit the Project SEARCH program. That didn’t happen…nothing could stop this group of students.
“We had a very tight-knit group of interns this year”, said ODC Employment Coordinator Danielle Nystrom. “I personally felt that it was an opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with them through our virtual classes. They were very engaged in the conversations we had as a class and individually and it was very apparent they wanted to continue to get the most out of the rest of the school year even though we were taking it week-by-week.”
“In the job preparation process, I like to emphasize how important it is to be able to ‘roll with the punches’. I am extremely proud of them for the way adapted to our “new normal” and how they handled the COVID situation to finish out the year virtually.”
Congratulations to all graduates. Everyone at ODC is proud of you!
Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which is still the administrative headquarters for the organization.
Project SEARCH services are funded in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).