HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (September 20, 2021) Forrest General Hospital is proud to welcome nine Project Search Class of 2022 students to its campus. This year’s class had a staggered start based on differences in school district openings and mandatory quarantines from one school to the next.
This year’s students include:
- Petal School District: Matthew Myers, Jimmy Dunkle, Robin DeRossett
- Lamar County School District: Bennett Clemmons, Cody Spillman, Tytiana Griffin, Aundrea Davis
- Hattiesburg Public School District: Dalia King, Markell McKines
The program, which was started by the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, is designed to help students with intellectual disabilities move into the workforce after high school. This is the third class Forrest General has hosted. Students in this year’s class were interviewed at the end of the previous school year.
“We have learned how to maneuver about the halls, cafeteria, bathrooms, and recently completed hospital orientation and onboarding activities (gloves, masks, hand washing, public safety, HR, Corp Compliance),” said Heather Reid, Project Search instructor. “We are learning how to use our badges to clock in and out each day using a system in the classroom called Time Station.” Students also learn business etiquette, proper interview skills and presenting themselves.
Students, dressed in khaki pants and Project Search green polo shirts, started the first of three 12-week rotations this month. Based on a student’s plans for the future, they are matched with departments best suited to help them meet their goals. There they work with a mentor who teaches them the ins and outs of a real job, whether patient transport, copying and shredding, washing dishes, and preparing or cleaning for patients. At the same time, they are making new friendships with fellow classmates and hospital personnel while also making patients happy.
Currently, students are working in Food & Nutrition, Radiology, Same Day Surgery, Patient Transport and IT.
“This year’s group of interns are so energetic and talkative and can’t wait to work each day!” said Reid. “They enjoy sharing stories with their classmates and telling them all about their new departments and mentors. Each day they arrive eager to work and make a contribution to Forrest General Hospital.”