INDIANAPOLIS – A $1.5 million grant helped students with special needs gain opportunities at Eskenazi Health this summer.
Lilly Endowment funded Eskenzi Health’s Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence paid 8-week internship program that helped students gain skills needed after graduation.
Luke Labas, a graduate student at Ball State University, said he hopes the internship will help him break down barriers between employers and those with special needs.
"A lot of employers don't really know about disability. So, they automatically have these preconceived notions, and that changes their attitude,” said Labas. “When somebody with a disability goes in for an interview the odds are already stacked against them before they even say a word."
Within the past year, the program grew from five to 19 students. Due to its success, Eskenazi will expand opportunities to more departments and colleges.
Labas said overall, the program has helped build his communication skills.
"I check in with all the other interns from all the other departments. I make sure they're communicating with their supervisors. If they have any concerns, I meet with them, and I do data collection,” he said.
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