Student interns to gain valuable employment experience
COBLESKILL, NY – The Arc Lexington’s Transitions program is starting its latest venture in expanding opportunities for students with autism and other learning differences to gain valuable employment experience while in a college setting through an internationally-recognized program, Project Search. The program which has 600 sites throughout the US alone, is designed prepare people with disabilities in securing competitive, integrated employment.
In partnership with SUNY Cobleskill, seven students enrolled in the Transitions program will participate in a variety of internships on campus through the Project Search program beginning on October 2. The students were specifically selected after an assessment and skills day for applicants. Project Search highlights people with neurodiverse or other learning differences in the areas of employment. Their program includes supportive training and experiential opportunities as well as career exploration to help each participant gain valuable skills.
“Together with SUNY Cobleskill and Project Search, our Transitions program is unlocking boundless potential of every participant, bridging the gap between education and employment, and creating a future filled with opportunities and success,” said Penny Rivenburg, Division Director at The Arc Lexington who oversees Transitions.
“We are thrilled to commence with Project SEARCH here on campus with seven fantastic interns,” said SUNY Cobleskill President Dr. Marion Terenzio. “This is a transformative initiative that emphasizes the commitment we share with The Arc Lexington in providing dignified, meaningful opportunities to young adults with developmental differences. The College is fortunate to provide a ‘village approach’ with staff members in several important areas serving as our internship mentors, including Dining, Athletics, Facilities Management, and the College Store. Through these diverse areas, we hope to empower these interns with real work experience that fosters personal and professional growth, not only for the interns but also for our mentors.”
The seven students who were selected for the program will participate in three, 10-week internship rotations gaining valuable employment experience in a number of departments on the SUNY Cobleskill campus. The first rotation includes internships in a variety of areas including: athletics, the college book store and the mail room. Students will participate in three internships throughout the 9-month program to explore a variety of career paths.
“I am so happy that I was chosen for this opportunity,” said Anthony, a Transitions student. “With the help of Transitions, I have been able to be more independent and social, and improve my time management skills. I am ready for this next step. Through this internship program, I can explore different interests and select a career path of my choosing.”