#RespectTheAbility Campaign: Spotlight on Project SEARCH
Young people with disabilities help senior citizens: Provide excellent workforce for the future
Haley McCormick-Thompson, 21, spends part of her day transporting senior residents of the United Hebrew from their rooms to their various activities throughout the day. The seniors’ faces light up when they see Haley coming over to help them.
“I really care about the residents,” Haley said. “I like helping them if they’re sad and I like staying late and helping. I am always willing to do extra.”
Haley is a part of Project SEARCH, a program that allows young adults with developmental disabilities to cultivate a set of skills that they can use in the workforce. At United Hebrew, located in New Rochelle, New York, Project SEARCH interns assist the residents in their daily lives. The harmony between the residents and the interns is clear. The interns take their time with each resident, making sure they are comfortable, getting them involved in cheerful sing-alongs, partaking and setting up art therapy, transporting them to and from their daily activities, and lending an attentive ear to residents who just feel like talking.