Baylor Scott & White Health offers a variety of outreach programs, including Project Search, a global movement meant to empower and help secure employment for students and young adults with disabilities.

For nearly a decade, Project Search has been operational at the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Lakeway at 100 Medical Parkway, Austin, in partnership with Lake Travis ISD.

“We normally funnel [students] from our high school,” said Kristin Curtis, a Project Search teacher at LTISD. “They have some sort of disability; that’s what it is geared towards: helping kids with [a] disability, train them in the workforce and get employment.”

This year, LTISD had two graduates in the program who served at the Lakeway facility.

Alex Carballo began working in August and completed the program in May.

“I liked that it was in a hospital, and everyone was nice and friendly,” Carballo said.

He spent his time doing various tasks throughout the day, such as taking care of the recycling or helping in the kitchen.

Interns generally cycle through nine-week rotations and move through different departments, Curtis said.

“They’re learning different jobs that can transfer over into making good employees,” she said. “[Baylor] Scott & White is beyond great as far as working with us and the intern; they love having us there.”

Carballo and his classmate Andrew Jones were the two participants for the year, but there are generally up to eight students in the program. With graduation behind him, Carballo will be attending Austin Community College for free with a Pell Grant to study welding and has earned a job at Dillard’s, while Jones was hired on at Lake Travis Independent Living.

Overall, Carballo said he has gotten more comfortable with speaking up and advocating for himself along with gaining work experience.

To be eligible for the program, participants must be 18-21 years old, have a documented disability under the Individuals with Disability Act, have completed all the necessary credits for graduation, must not have a criminal record or severe behavioral issues, and must pass a background and drug screening.

Applications open in November and are due in early February of the following year.