Outside of the traditional graduation ceremony that will be held at Saucon Valley High School Friday there are other important stories of student success to be told, and one of them is Dylan Rumfield’s.
Dylan was one of 14 local students who worked very hard in order to graduate from Project Search Wednesday at a special ceremony that held real meaning for everyone in attendance.
Project Search is a one-year transition-to-work program that was first developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1996, and is now available to students in communities all across the country, including the Lehigh Valley.
In addition to Saucon Valley, students from Allentown, Catasauqua, East Penn, Northampton, Northern Lehigh, Northwestern Lehigh, Salisbury and Parkland graduated this year with skills that will enable them to have meaningful employment as adults.
Project Search exists thanks to support from organizations, whose staff members form a collaborative team to oversee and administer each program.
In the Lehigh Valley the Project Search-supporting organizations include Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, St. Luke’s University Hospital, Goodwill Keystone Area and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.
According to the Project Search website, “the goal for each program participant is competitive employment. To reach that goal, the program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent-living skills to help young people with significant disabilities make successful transitions to productive adult life.”
“During the last few months of the program the emphasis is on refining skills, achieving the career goal and carrying out individualized job development,” which “is based on the intern’s experiences, strengths, interests and skills,” the website states.
Program participants who are referred to as interns attend the program for a full school year in a host business or hospital which provides access to an on-site training room that can accommodate up to 12 interns.
The participants also are supported by educators from their school district, which in Dylan’s case included teachers Tammy Miller and Brianne Barona, who presented him with his Saucon Valley diploma on-stage at the ceremony.
For more information about Project Search, visit ProjectSearch.us.