Project SEARCH interns celebrate achievements

Chelsea High School graduate Jordan Stokes speaks during a Nov. 20 Project SEARCH open house event at Shelby Baptist Medical Center. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Chelsea High School graduate Jordan Stokes speaks during a Nov. 20 Project SEARCH open house event at Shelby Baptist Medical Center. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – For a group of local high school graduates who recently completed their first internships through Project SEARCH, getting up in the morning and heading to work is anything but a chore.

“My favorite part of Project SEARCH is that I get to come to work every day,” intern Will Bezkor, who recently finished a rotation working in the 1022 Tower at Shelby Baptist Medical Center.

Several of Bezkor’s Project SEARCH peers shared similar feelings on experiences from their first 10 weeks of interning through the program. The project’s current class members celebrated the end of their first internship rotation during a Nov. 20 open house at the program’s offices in SBMC.

Project SEARCH works with special-needs students in Shelby County, Pelham and Alabaster schools to offer the students internships at area businesses, and also works to find the students jobs after they graduate.

During the open house, the class members constructed display boards to detail their internship experiences, and spoke in front of a large group while explaining their favorite parts of interning at SBMC.

Brandon White, a Thompson High School graduate, said his favorite part of the internship was working at the hospital’s Morrison’s café during lunchtime. His classmate, Pelham High School graduate Daniel Cottone, worked in materials management at the hospital, and said he was grateful for his job coaches’ help over the past several weeks.

Binh Nguyen, an Oak Mountain High School graduate, said his favorite part of the internship was transporting patients around the hospital. Fellow OMHS graduate Tyler Bembry said he enjoyed working with his co-workers at the nurse station.

THS graduate Corvonté Williams said he enjoyed calling patients back, and Whitmey McDurmin said she enjoyed helping the nurses in the hospital’s Women’s Center.

PHS graduate Josh Fleagle said he enjoyed helping in the SBMC emergency room, and Chelsea graduate Jordan Stokes said he enjoyed developing his job skills through the program.

Ben Whaley’s favorite part of the internship was helping patients in the outpatient surgery unit, and PHS graduate Zach Dorsey said he loved coming to work every day.