Youth Services

Students enjoy STEAM activities at Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Students who receive services from VR’s Greenville and Greer Training Centers, or who participate in Project SEARCH at St. Francis Hospital, recently attended a special “STEAM Day” (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) event at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC.

Twenty-seven students participated in a variety of STEAM activities hosted by local businesses, including assembling small robots, 3D printing, experimenting with music creation using computers, and experiencing virtual reality learning. They also went behind the scenes to tour the area and learn about the many different career opportunities available at Bon Secours. The event ended with the students watching the University of Florida play the University of Mississippi women’s basketball game, part of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Heroes assemble for Walk & Roll

The 13th annual Mayors Committee for People with Disabilities Walk and Roll was held earlier this month in downtown Spartanburg. More than 600 individuals marched one mile from Morgan Square to the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium where a celebration that included all school districts was held.

This year's theme was "Empowering All: Embrace Your Super Hero" and a students were treated to presentations by teachers dressed as Wonder Woman, Batman, and the Hulk. Many other teachers, also dressed as superheroes, mingled with students in the audience.

VR client receives Student of the Year Achievement Award in Orangeburg

VR client David Tanner Smith recently received the Orangeburg Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Persons with Disabilities Student of the Year Achievement Award.

Tanner was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and and intellectual disability at a young age. Although he has difficulties with social cues and abstract concepts, Tanner is friendly and outgoing. Through hard work, and with the help of tutors and family, he received a high school diploma from Glenforest School in Columbia, SC.

Meet Project SEARCH students from Richland County

Meet some of the Richland One School District students who are part of Project SEARCH in the Midlands in this short video from WLTX. Instead of attending regular classes, the students selected for Project SEARCH have spent their last year of high school doing unpaid internships at Embassy Suites. They have become immersed in the work environment and learned a variety of transferable job skills.

Project SEARCH graduation in Greenville

In partnership with the VR Greenville office and the Greenville County School District, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System recently graduated its first group of Project SEARCH interns.

Watch video of the graduation and read more about Project SEARCH at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System at both and

Project SEARCH is an international school-to-work program model that provides high school students with disabilities internship opportunities in a work environment, with the ultimate goal of competitive employment.

Job fair shows students lots of career opportunities

The Oconee-Pickens VR office recently participated in the third annual Graduates to Work Job Fair at Liberty High School, which was attended by more than 200 seniors.

Business Development Specialist Dan Alexander explained to those at the fair that VR assists students with disabilities.

“We start working with kids age 16, because that allows us to find out where they’re coming from and what they’re looking at and what their career objective is,” Alexander said. “We want to make sure we’re working to fulfill those goals. I’m always interested to listen about what fields they’re (students) interested in entering.”

Job coaching leads to internship and employment

Zavan Boyd, former client, is thrilled with his job at Family Health Center, and with the services and opportunities he has received from VR.

Zavan, who has ADHD, began working with VR when he was in high school and continued receiving counseling and guidance throughout his time at Benedict College. After graduating with an Accounting degree in May 2017, he attended job preparedness classes and learned a variety of skills at the Orangeburg office's training center.

STEPS to success

Lucien “Luke” McCurry prepares to throw the first pitch at a recent Lexington Blowfish game. Prior to the game, Luke and nine other young adults attending the Summer Transition Evaluation Program for Students (STEPS) at VR’s West Columbia Evaluation Center toured the Lexington County Baseball Stadium and met with various employees. They learned about jobs at the stadium, what’s involved in hosting a minor league baseball team, and various ways the stadium serves the community

First Project SEARCH graduates in Anderson

Aron Gilliam, Elizabeth Gonzalez, La-Keisha Logan, Trenton Pate and Dillon Worley were recognized for being the first class of Project SEARCH graduates from AnMed Health during a ceremony on June 11 at Westside High School in Anderson.

Project SEARCH is an international school-to-work program that places high school students with disabilities into a work environment, with the ultimate goal of competitive employment. It combines classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training.