MISD grads with disabilities given internship opportunities

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Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 6:22 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -This program gives young adults with development disabilities the opportunity to learn by working in a competitive field.

The goal of this program is for the interns to continue employment at Midland Memorial, but also, so that they can expand their horizons to work in other parts of the country.

So that some of the interns like Santos Ramirez, could continue to work at Midland Memorial.

Ramirez was a little nervous but spoke about what they plan to learn in this internship

“What we’re going to do is learn about working in a hospital. Training.” said Ramirez.

This opportunity is for young adults that have development disabilities like Autism, ADHD, intellectual disability and more.

This helps them learn skills from the professionals themselves.

The interns are aged 18 to 22. They go through orientations for the first couple of weeks before being able to shadow hospital employees.

“That’s about four hours and then they come back to the classroom just to debrief, maybe do a little journal. So, they’re learning job skills but they’re also learning life skills.” said Staff Development Manager at Midland Memorial, Shirley Loughlin.

Loughlin said it’s programs like these that give these young adults with disabilities the confidence to work in areas that they never thought they could.

“The misconception is that they can’t do a normal job. But with a little extra steps, a little bit of job coaching, they can do the job. They just need a little bit more time with those job skills so that they can learn them.” said Loughlin.

Some of the other partners with project search include Permiacare, Texas Workforce Solutions and Empowering Hands.

The internship will last for the entire MISD school semester.

Loughlin mentions that Midland Memorial currently has multiple employees with development disabilities working there.

She said they would happily welcome these interns into their facility once their internship ends.