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Project SEARCH holds graduation ceremonies for Ft. Eustis and Sentara CarePlex sites


The Hampton school division celebrates and congratulates the 2022 Project SEARCH Sentara CarePlex and Project SEARCH Ft. Eustis graduates. HCS honors seven graduates from its four high schools.


Project SEARCH is a work-based learning program where students with disabilities are immersed in an authentic working environment. During the program, employees at host sites choose to take on the role of mentors sharing their knowledge, skills, and experience with students transforming the way we teach and learn in Hampton City Schools. Students find Project SEARCH life-changing as they engage in “an extensive period of hands-on skills training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continuous feedback from teachers, skills trainers, and employers” (Project Search, 2018). The model, originating at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, effectively offers our scholars the opportunity to reach their goals to be competitively employed gaining confidence, self-determination, and independence. 


Project SEARCH Transition-to-Work Program is a unique, business-led, one-year employment preparation program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Over 900 hours of total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations. The program culminates in individualized job development.


“Working with community partners, Hampton City Schools affords our scholars the opportunity to be immersed in real work experiences to prepare them for success in competitive employment and life based on their interests, strengths, and skills,” shared Sherry Hildebrandt, special education transition specialist.


Congratulations to the following students who graduated from Project SEARCH Sentara CarePlex in a ceremony held on June 8 at the Embassy Suites:


Robert Bennett – Phoebus High School

Jaheem Evans – Hampton High School

Quincy Harris – Kecoughtan High School

Kambron Shabazz – Bethel High School


Congratulations to the following students who graduated from Project SEARCH Ft. Eustis in a ceremony at the Wylie Theatre at Ft. Eustis on June 9:


Mary Miller – Kecoughtan High School

Hunter North – New Horizons

Christopher Reynolds – Bethel High School


A special thanks to Sentara CarePlex for their partnership in providing work experience in food service, supply chain, health information systems, emergency room, heart center, imaging, and linen.


We also give a special thanks to Ft. Eustis for their partnership in providing work experience in the Anderson Field House Gym, Commissary, Gronginger Library, Transportation Museum, Eustis Club Burger King, General Smalls Inn, The Pines Golf Course, Resolute Cafe, Pershing Child Care Center, MWR ITT Office, Express FoodMart, Tignor Dental Clinic, and AAFES.


Click here to see a short video of the ceremonies.