Students with special needs get hospital internships

A program called Project Search recruits students with special needs, ages 18 to 21, from the school system and brings them to Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey, to get on-the-job training.

They attend a class for a little over an hour and are then paired with various internships at the hospital. Jalen Boyd, for example, works in food and nutrition. Boyd is still an active student at Project Search, but thanks to the program he has been promised a part-time job at Overlook once he graduates.

Project Search is nationally recognized but expanded to Summit just this past year.

Cornelia Gilpin, the nurse manager, said Overlook works very hard to pair students with the right internships in the hopes that they eventually get hired.

Kevin Archambault graduated last year. He said he hopes to someday teach other special needs students about the workforce. Until then, he is enjoying his full-time job distributing materials around the hospital. His boss, Kristine Wagner, said Kevin has helped her just as much as she has helped him.