George Sanders found success through Project SEARCH

Many of The Choice Group’s clientele are young adults that are transitioning from high school into employment.  One of the great programs we work with is Project SEARCH.  It’s an internship program where recently graduated students and young adults gain real world job experience, where they might not have had any before.  Participants must apply and interview for the internship positions much like any other job or internship.  It helps them build resumes for future positions as well!  While it’s not guaranteed that each participant will receive a job where they interned, if a student displays a great aptitude for the job, a great work ethic or attitude, often times they will be hired after the internship period is over.

That was the case for George!  When George Sanders came to the Project SEARCH program, he already had experience in the stock room, so after applying for an internship at Sentara Heart Hospital, they put him to work managing the 3 different store rooms in the Cardiac Care Unit.  He had a physical aptitude for the job (his height definitely helped) and he was a joy to his coworkers as well!  According to Rachel, The Choice Group’s Project SEARCH Coordinator who worked with George, he’s just a big nice guy, with a great sense of humor.

“He is extremely social and everyone in the hospital knows him— which also might be because of his height! And he’s a die-hard Cowboys fan,” says Rachel.

During his internship, Rachel and George would work on practical job skills such as communication at the workplace, studying terms, and learning the items in the stock room. His other tasks include receiving stock from the loading dock, sorting the supplies onto pallets, delivering stock to the store rooms and organizing them onto shelves.  He also helps out in the heart catheter lab!

Rachel also helps her clients prepare for the application and interview process and has been working with George since September of 2014.  After getting the internship position in December of the same year, Rachel has worked with George throughout the internship period, lasting one year, as she does with all of her Project SEARCH clients.  The Sentara Cardiac Care Unit was so impressed with his skills that they created an official stock room position for him after his internship was complete, just to keep him on staff!  He’s been working there since December 2015.

George has always had high expectations for himself, according to Rachel.  “He told me that when he started making money, he was going to use this money to take care of his grandma, who has been his primary caretaker from a young age."

Rachel, now providing Follow Along services to monitor stability, goes by the hospital to talk to George and his manager once a month.


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