The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities Hosts a Project SEARCH Intern (MD UCEDD)

December 16, 2019

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute recently hosted its first Project SEARCH intern. Project SEARCH is an internationally recognized program, which seeks to secure competitive employment for individuals with disabilities. Over the past month, the MCDD interviewed candidates for Kennedy Krieger's Project SEARCH program. Potential interns met with staff attorneys at Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), a community-based program of the MCDD, which is located in downtown Baltimore on the medical campus. The MCDD ultimately decided to hire Cole Slusher as the MCDD's first Project SEARCH intern. Cole has a rare gene mutation, which resulted in significant developmental delays as a baby and young child. He enrolled in the Kennedy Krieger School at Fairmount, and completed his education at Kennedy Krieger High School. Thereafter, he enrolled in workforce training through the Project SEARCH program.

As an intern with the MCDD, Cole is responsible for a variety of tasks. He assists with data entry in our online database system, filing, copying, putting together informational folders, and mailings, among other things. "I learned from MCDD how to use [the data system] on how to enter data," Cole said. "I really enjoy working at MCDD and I like the staff at MCDD." Staff at the MCDD are thrilled with Cole's performance. Project HEAL staff attorney Alyssa Thorn, who supervised Cole along with Project HEAL staff attorney Mallory Finn, stressed how valuable Cole has been to the MCDD team. "Cole has been an integral part of our MCDD team," she said. "He is abundantly positive, and takes on any task that is asked of him. His hard work has been a huge help." Cole will return for the MCDD for another internship rotation through Project SEARCH, which will end in March. Thereafter, the MCDD will interview other Project SEARCH candidates for the final internship rotation of the calendar year. The MCDD is enthusiastic about this new partnership, and plans to stay involved with Project SEARCH for many years to come. The Project SEARCH program is in its second year of implementation at Kennedy Krieger Institute, and it is one of 14 sites across the state of Maryland. In addition to hosting a Project SEARCH intern, the MCDD assists the Project SEARCH program with its online application, data entry in our online database system, and one of the MCDD's representatives serves on the Project SEARCH steering committee. The MCDD team is thrilled with the partnership with the Project SEARCH program.