HEADLINES

Abilis’ Project SEARCH Internship Programs Holds Info Session on November 17 for Programs in Greenwich & Darien

Abilis, the nonprofit organization that provides services and support to more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families, is hosting a Project SEARCH Information Night on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 6:30 p.m., for families with young adults with disabilities to learn about the Project SEARCH employment internship program.

Abilis runs two Project SEARCH programs in lower Fairfield County in partnership with Greenwich Hospital and the Darien YMCA. This free event will be held at the Darien YMCA, 2420 Post Road, Darien, Connecticut, and is open to families with young adults with disabilities, ages 18-30. Space is limited and registration is required at abilis.us/calendar

Project SEARCH’s nine-month internship program helps young adults who have the goal of being competitively employed. The programs are run at Greenwich Hospital, which offers hospital-related jobs, and at the Darien YMCA, that offers positions in different departments, including the childcare center and Café. The program offers total immersion in the workplace and facilitates the teaching and learning process, as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Interns participate in three unpaid internships throughout the program and explore a variety of career paths. Along the way, the interns increase their independence, self-confidence, and self-esteem preparing them for future employment.   

Project SEARCH is a collaboration between Abilis, Greenwich Hospital, Darien YMCA, various local school districts, and the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services. To be eligible for Project SEARCH, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and have a developmental disability, eligible for development or disabilities services, and want to work competitively. If the young adult is currently a high school student, a recommendation is required by their school district. For other young adults, tuition is paid by the Department of Developmental Resources (for those eligible) or a family may choose to pay privately. The Greenwich Hospital Project SEARCH program starts September 2022; the Darien YMCA program starts January 2023.  

Applications for both programs are being accepted now and it is recommended that if you are interested, you apply, as positions fill quickly. Applications are in both English and Spanish and available online at abilis.us/project-search

“Project SEARCH is such a great program for young adults with special needs transitioning from school towards a life of greater independence,” noted Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis. “Interns work with a team that includes their family, a Project SEARCH instructor, an Abilis job coach/developer, and a mentor with either Greenwich Hospital or the Darien YMCA. The interns begin their day learning employability skills in a classroom, then spend time daily in their internship where they are taught distinct skills and receive feedback for improving skill development. At the end of the day, the interns return to the classroom to reflect on their day, discuss challenges and evaluate progress.”

To learn more about Abilis’ Project SEARCH, contact Nick Stewart, program manager with Project SEARCH at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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