Boca West Internship Program Graduation Day

Boca West Magazine


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Straight from Graduation to The Work Force

Posted on: July 25, 2019 | Read Time: 4 minutes

Boca West Country Club offers jobs to seven developmentally disabled young adults who graduated from Club’s internship program.

Project Search job-training program is in partnership with Unicorn Children’s Foundation and Unicorn Village Academy.

BOCA RATON, FL, June 6, 2019 – Adults, aged 18 to 24, with intellectual and developmental disabilities graduated last week from an inaugural 10-month internship program at Boca West Country Club during which they trained for the workforce. All of the seven young adults in the program were offered jobs at Boca West following their graduation, serving in the Club’s food and beverage, retail, and golf course maintenance departments.

The internship program is in partnership with Project SEARCH, Unicorn Children’s Foundation and Unicorn Village Academy. Boca West is the only residential club in the world to participate in the Project SEARCH program and the interns learned competitive, transferable, and marketable job skills. The second pre-employment intern class will begin in August.

“This incredible group of individuals became part of the Boca West family. All of them came to work each day with a great attitude and inspiring work ethic, and they became close not only with the staff here but with our members,” said Matthew Linderman, Boca West Country Club President, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “We were thrilled to make job offers to all of the graduates and are excited for them to remain on our team.”

“We are so grateful for our partnership with Boca West Country Club, which has transformed the lives of these young adults,” said Sharon Alexander, CEO of the Unicorn Children’s Foundation. “Unfortunately, 68% of adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities are unemployed despite their desire and ability to work. Thanks to this program, these young adults received valuable training and a job. We are so proud of their great work.”

About Boca West Country Club Project SEARCH

Boca West Country Club Project SEARCH provides a job training internship program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which began in August of 2018. Interns range in age from 17-24 years of age, which makes it statistically more difficult for them to find jobs upon completion of high school. By providing extensive internship opportunities, it is expected that at least 74% of interns will find competitive and meaningful employment following graduation. Boca West Country Club is the first private residential community in the world to participate in this internationally renowned program.

About Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH’s primary objective is to secure competitive employment for people with disabilities. Project SEARCH at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati began in 1996 and provides education and on-the-job training opportunities, which has led to permanent employment for nearly 75% of individuals with disabilities who have completed the program. This collaborative model has proven to be very successful at meeting employer needs while placing persons with disabilities in long-term employment. Since its inception, Project SEARCH has grown from a single program site at Cincinnati Children’s to a large and continuously expanding international network of sites with replication in 45 states and 9 countries.

About The Unicorn Children’s Foundation, Inc.

Unicorn Children’s Foundation is a 24-year-old non-profit organization that is dedicated to building communities of acceptance, support, and opportunity for kids and young adults who are challenged by special needs and neurodiversity by supporting or developing it cradle to career pathways. Our initiatives connect families to community resources, advocate for inclusive opportunities, respect differences, empower individuals, and support success. With 1 in 6 children being diagnosed with a developmental or learning disorder, we believe it is our responsibility to create a world where all children’s potential can flourish.

About Unicorn Village Academy, Inc.

Unicorn Village Academy (UVA) focuses on the “whole student” teaching them life skills, employment preparation and academics. The curriculum encourages independence, self-advocacy, and preparation for life. A high school for 13-22 year old students with developmental and learning challenges that provides a safe and dignified learning environment to explore and realize true abilities and potentials. Using an innovative, strength-based teaching model, integrating academics, social and inter-personal communication strategies, students will develop the necessary skills to successfully transition to work, college and independent living. Unicorn Village Academy will give each student the opportunity to live out their own dreams and control their own lives and fully engage in the community in which they live.