Congratulations to the 2020 Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH Interns!
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FRA celebrates its Project SEARCH graduates.
Monmouth County-based FRA celebrates the accomplishments of this year's graduates who recently completed the Project SEARCH internship program.

RED BANK, N.J. - JerseyDesk -- Seven passionate interns plus one forward-focused, community-driven non-profit equals countless futures filled with PossAbilities. Family Resource Associates (FRA), which serves people of all ages who have developmental or acquired disAbilities, is pleased to announce that seven interns who were part of Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH have graduated the program and are starting their next chapters.

Project SEARCH is a 10-month internship program for people with disAbilities in their last year of school through early adulthood. The goal for each intern is competitive employment through the acquisition of employAbility and marketable work skills. Monmouth Medical Center hosted the program. This year's interns ranged from 21 to 36 years of age and include: Molly H., Gabe A., Jim P., Janet W., Kate D., Angel R. and Robert S.

Interns were able to explore a variety of career paths through hands-on experience in hospital departments like Same Day Surgery, Pediatrics, Medical Records and Patient Transport. The interns have since acquired new skills over the last 10 months that they will take with them in their future employment endeavors. Grateful for the opportunity to be part of Project SEARCH, each intern offered FRA an overview of their journey through the program and hopes for the future.

Molly opted to intern in Same Day Surgery and Pediatrics. The most important thing she learned was how to transfer work skills to different parts of her life. In the future, she would love to work in a coffee shop or restaurant. While Molly was busy in Pediatrics, Gabe was immersed in Medical Records and the Blue Vest department. Post-graduation, he hopes to work in a kitchen where he can cook, clean and take orders.

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Angel also interned in the Blue Vest and Patient Transport departments at Monmouth Medical Center. "The most important thing I learned in Project SEARCH was how to support others," Angel said. "I would like to be a patient transporter because I enjoy interacting with patients and learning where the departments are. I also like my co-workers at Monmouth Medical Center. They are friendly and funny!"

Then there was Jim, who could also be found transporting patients around the hospital or working in the cafeteria with fellow intern Janet. Jim would like to continue working as a patient transporter in the future. Janet, who also spent time working in the Monmouth Medical Center supply room, would like to secure employment in a cafeteria, hospital or at a school.

Robert had an equally rewarding experience in Material Management and Food Services. "I swept the floor, broke down boxes, disposed of expired solutions, restocked medical supply shelves and helped in the mailroom," he said. "I learned about organization skills and sticking to the job until it's done." Looking to the future, Robert would like to pursue a job in Material Management.

Flexibility. Teamwork. Communication. Those are three of the most important skills that Kate learned while interning in Human Resources. In the future, she is interested in working for a florist and learning photography and sign language. "But I still want to be part of FRA – maybe as a mentor," Kate affirmed.

To celebrate their many accomplishments during the academic school year, FRA recently facilitated surprise home visits to each Project SEARCH intern. The visits were facilitated by Nancy Phalanukorn, Executive Director of FRA;  Phillip Duck, Director of EmployAbility at FRA;  Tyler Swiggart, Job Coach at FRA, Jessica Hamburg, Project SEARCH Instructor at FRA, and Julia Siersema, Project SEARCH Skills Trainer at FRA. "It was a joy to acknowledge each intern for all their commitment and accomplishments as they now prepare for employment in the community," said Phalanukorn. "Each intern grew tremendously and it gives us great pride to have been part of that growth."

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The goal of Project SEARCH is competitive employment for each intern utilizing the skills they learned during the program, according to Phillip Duck, FRA's Director of EmployAbility, which encompasses the Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH program. "The skills acquired through Project SEARCH can be transferred to many different workplace settings." If you would like to learn more about how to hire a Project SEARCH graduate, please email

Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH has been made possible through a collaborative partnership between The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities, The NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, NJTIP,  Monmouth Medical Center and Family Resource Associates. To learn more about Project SEARCH, visit To learn more about FRA – PossAbilities for People with DisAbilities, visit  or call 732-747-5310.

About Family Resource Associates

Family Resource Associates, Inc. (FRA) is a 501(c)(3) in Monmouth County helping children, adolescents and people of all ages with disAbilities to reach their fullest potential. FRA connects individuals to independence through specialized therapies and advanced technology. Acknowledging the powerful influence of the family, we remain committed to them by offering both support and education.

FRA assists individuals of all ages who have developmental delays or disAbilities as well as acquired disAbilities. FRA provides home-based Early Intervention for infants, therapeutic recreation programs, pre-vocational and educational classes for adults, EmployAbility training and job coaching, along with family and sibling support groups.

TECHConnection, a signature program of FRA, leverages technology to help increase, maintain or improve the capabilities of individuals with disAbilities as a result of accident, injury, illness or aging as well as related issues affecting hearing, vision, reading or mobility. To learn more, visit

Federal Tax ID # 22-2285850 - NJ Charity Registration # CH0232800

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Source: Family Resource Associates, Inc.
Filed Under: Non-profit

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