Congratulations to the graduating interns from PathPoint Project Search program

Interns from PathPoint and Gina Salman at Cypress Place.

by Carol Leish, MA

“Having our first interns from the Pathpoint Project SEARCH program,” according to Cypress Place Senior Living executive director, Gina Salman, “has made a difference through their ability to help others here. We realized that all three of you have been always learning in order to think positively and to not be afraid of change.”

“PathPoint utilizes the Project SEARCH model, which is a school-to-work program for individuals with disabilities that takes place entirely at an employer worksite. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration and on-the-job training and support,” according to their website: www.Pathpoint.org. “Interns build communication and problem-solving skills, as well as job-specific skills, through worksite rotations. These are paid internships, which are funded by Tri-Counties Regional Center. The paid internships are similar to the clinical rotations that are part of every medical school curriculum and many other professional career programs.”

“This is the first year that Cypress Place Senior Living has been involved with the Project SEARCH Program,” according to, Salman. “We were initially referred to the program by our sister community, Regency Palms in Oxnard.” The position that interns did were: 1) Dining Services Attendant in the Dining Department; 2) Laundry Attendant in the Housekeeping Department; and 3) Janitorial/Housekeeping Assistant in the Housekeeping Department. “We would encourage others to get involved in this program by contacting Path Point directly and asking if they need interns who are the right fit for us here at Cypress Place Senior Living or other organizations. Many of these interns have specific skills that they are interested in gaining experience in.”

Mike Macke, Community Relations Director at Cypress Place Senior Living said, “Cypress Place Senior Living is a premiere senior community in Ventura County. The beautiful senior living campus features an Independent Senior Living community and an adjacent Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care community connected by a lushly landscaped courtyard.”

For more information about Cypress Place Senior Living in Ventura, visit: www.cypressplaceseniorliving.com or call: (805) 650-8000.

Heather Sturm, Program Coordinator at PathPoint, with various sites in Ventura County, said, “Interns work at a site for six months to a year. Then, we help them to find a job through job searching.” Ricardo Castellon, who does Direct Support at PathPoint, said, “The staff at Cypress Place Senior Living has been super kind and welcoming to all of us.”

Congratulations to the three graduating interns: Kayla Rucker, Taylor Cargile, and Diane Easly. Kayla Rucker said that, “It ‘s been a pleasure to have worked here. It was fun.” Diane Easly, said, ‘I’ve appreciated working here. Now, it’s time to move on (to another position).” Taylor Cargile said, “I was grateful to have worked in the dining room. And, I have accepted a position to work in the dining room, which will be starting in January, 2022.”

Shirley and David Hartman, who have been residents at Cypress Place Senior Living for the past two years both said, “All three interns have done a good job. We are going to miss Diane Easly and Kayla Rucker. We are glad that Taylor Cargile will be continuing to be working in the dining room in 2022.”

Project Search is now accepting applications for another internship at Cypress Place Senior Living, which will be starting in January, 2022. Contact, Heather Sturm, coordinator, at: Heather.Sturm@PathPoint.org or call: (805) 863-5548.

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