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Project SEARCH Graduation Ceremony: Class of 2024

(June 20, 2024) The Rochester City School District is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of three exceptional graduates from Project SEARCH, a program for students with developmental disabilities ages 18 to 21.  Gloria Hill, John Santiago, and Kyasia Taylor were honored during a special ceremony on June 18, 2024, held at the Edgerton Recreation Center.  The event featured City of Rochester Deputy Mayor Mike Burns as the keynote speaker, highlighting the importance of Project SEARCH in fostering inclusive employment opportunities. 

Project SEARCH is a community-based, school-to-work transition program that includes classroom instruction and meaningful internship experiences with the goal of employment.  These internships, facilitated through partnerships with such organizations as the City of Rochester, Job Path, and the University of Rochester Medical Center, aim to equip students with the skills and confidence needed for successful employment. 

Some internships include experiences within the City of Rochester’s Water Bureau, Downtown Enhancement, Rundel Library, Lincoln Branch Library, Charlotte Library, Environmental Services, Verona Street Animal Society, and Equipment Services.  

Kyasia Traylor is working at the Wegmans Distribution Center in its bakery department.  Gloria Hill started work at Alsco Uniforms this week, and John Santiago is actively pursuing opportunities within the City of Rochester.

The graduation ceremony started with opening remarks by Rose Nichols from the City of Rochester’s Human Resources Department and featured speakers from the Arc of Monroe and Job Path. 

A highlight of the event was a video presentation showcasing the interns’ hard work throughout the program.  Each graduate received a $300 stipend check at the ceremony, generously donated by a Rochester Area Community Foundation supporter.  Additionally, they were awarded certificates from Mayor Malik Evans and a certificate for completing Project SEARCH. 

Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed refreshments, including cookies from the Edison Café, prepared by students themselves, and fresh fruit and vegetable platters from the ARC deli, a fitting conclusion to a day celebrating the graduates’ accomplishments.