Congratulations to the graduates of Project SEARCH at Cypress Place Senior Living

“You will be able to move forward with passion.”

by Carol Leish, MA

On October 7, Nicholas (Nick) Riesgo, Maria (LuLu) Martinez, and Jeremy Moore graduated from a 10-month internship at Cypress Place. They interned in the areas of dietary, laundry, and housekeeping.

By getting involved in the Project SEARCH program, Executive Director of Cypress Place, Gina Salman said, “We wanted our interns to gain independence, work as a team and interact with our residents. They have been a tremendous support to the community. Our staff and residents have enjoyed their presence. We as a community have learned patience, empathy and humility from them. There is a mutual respect between all of us.”

In her remarks congratulating the graduates, Salman said, “You will be able to move forward with passion, while not being afraid of change. We appreciate that you have been a part of our community.”

India Lakoda, Program Manager, and Ricardo Castellon, Direct Support Staff, both at Project SEARCH, guided the interns during their 10-month internship.

Lakoda said, “I am so excited to celebrate our graduating class today! One of the qualities that I love about interns participating in Project SEARCH is that the amount of growth they curate in just 10 months. Through this journey the interns have learned another quality—to be courageous.”

Of her internship, Lulu Martinez said, “Thanks for all the kindness you have all given to us, like a family. I will say, ‘See you later,’ instead of saying goodbye.”

Regarding his internship, Nick Riesgo said, “I will be missing the residents at Cypress Place. I would like to thank Ricardo for keeping things under control, and giving all of us support.”

Of his internship, Jereme Moore said, “I am thankful for having gone through this program. I’m also thankful that Ricardo made the program work out for me.”

Lakoda also mentioned that, “Your commencement today is a celebration of your commitment to growth and readiness to embark on this new journey into the workforce. My wish for all of you is to continue to hold onto the courage within you and allow it to guide you. While you are no longer an intern of Project SEARCH, you will always be part of our PathPoint family.”

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