Upper Valley Project SEARCH celebrates seven graduates


For the Miami Valley Today



Provided photo 2019 Upper Valley Project SEARCH graduates front row, from left: Heather Hopkins, Justine Porath and Katie Young. Back row, from left: Austin Ham, Jacob Balta, Isaac Bensman, Christopher Eller.

Provided photo 2019 Upper Valley Project SEARCH graduates front row, from left: Heather Hopkins, Justine Porath and Katie Young. Back row, from left: Austin Ham, Jacob Balta, Isaac Bensman, Christopher Eller.


TROY — Seven interns who successfully completed the 2018-19 Upper Valley Project SEARCH program were celebrated May 10 at Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC).

Project SEARCH is a one-year high school transition program for individuals with disabilities to provide training and education leading to community employment.

Local program partners include UVMC, Koester Pavilion, Upper Valley Career Center, Miami and Shelby County boards of developmental disabilities, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, and Capabilities Inc.

This is the ninth year for the program.

Tom Parker, UVMC president, said UVMC is pleased to be a collaborator in the program which helps young people gain skills that help lead to employment. Program supervisors and mentors were recognized for working alongside the interns introducing them to various on the job experiences.

The program helps teach the young people how to get along with other people and “bring your best self to work. Even if you are having a bad day, you are responsible for going out in the world,” Parker said.

Matt Meyer, Upper Valley Career Center supervisor, said these interns were “seven of the most hard-working individuals that I have ever known.”

Each intern deferred receiving their high school diploma, went through an interview selection process, and earned a position to participate in the program.

Program participants received diplomas from the following home school districts: Anna High School, Isaac Bensman; Christian Academy Schools, Jacob Balta and Justine Porath; Piqua High School, Christopher Eller; and Sidney High School, Katie Young, Heather Hopkins, and Austin Ham.

They also heard from 2017-18 intern Joseph Trisler who works at Wappoo Wood Products of Sidney. “Project SEARCH is amazing,” Trisler said, giving special thanks to Patti Moore, Upper Valley Project SEARCH program coordinator. The program helped him gain skills not just for a job, but for life, Trisler said.

For more information on Upper Valley Project SEARCH, contact Moore at 937-440-7431.

Provided photo 2019 Upper Valley Project SEARCH graduates front row, from left: Heather Hopkins, Justine Porath and Katie Young. Back row, from left: Austin Ham, Jacob Balta, Isaac Bensman, Christopher Eller.
https://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2019/05/web1_Project-Search-Upper-Valley-CMYK.jpgProvided photo 2019 Upper Valley Project SEARCH graduates front row, from left: Heather Hopkins, Justine Porath and Katie Young. Back row, from left: Austin Ham, Jacob Balta, Isaac Bensman, Christopher Eller.

For the Miami Valley Today