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World Down Syndrome Day: Baylor Scott & White's Project Search program prepares individuals with Down syndrome for the workforce

The program is a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity to teach individuals with Down syndrome essential skills to enter the working world.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — World Down Syndrome Day brings light to the importance of sharing stories of people with Down Syndrome. 

At Baylor Scott & White, they have created an opportunity for individuals with disabilities called Project SEARCH.

"Down Syndrome affects me because I have an extra chromosome and I have trouble learning," said project intern, Loren Cearley.

The program is a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity that teaches students essential skills.

"Project SEARCH is a post-secondary program for students through College Station ISD and we're based here at the medical center," explained project instructor, Beth Sherry. "Our students, we call them interns, and they complete one hour of class time each day where we're working on employability skills, resume building, interview skills, soft skills, and then they will do three ten-week internships in different departments here at the hospital."

Cearley has learned important work force skills that will give her more opportunities in the future.

"During class time we talk about job skills, resumes, budgeting and all of that but my dream job would be working at HEB to be able to help organize and be a bagger," said Cearley.

The project aims to bring awareness to the resources available to those with the disability and open the minds and hearts of employers. 

"We really want other students with disabilities to just be aware this is an option for them," explained Sherry. "Its never too early for our students with disabilities or without to think about what happens after high school, so we want them to know this is an option  but we also want employers in the community to be aware that we have a really great workforce available who are super capable and having people with disabilities benefits everybody."

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