Francisco Gonzalez just wanted to help students who deserved a helping hand.
Gonzalez is the manager of hospitality and concierge services at Texas Health Dallas and he oversees the hospital’s Project SEARCH program. It’s a 1-year unpaid internship providing high school seniors with disabilities an opportunity to learn life skills and hands-on training.
“When you meet these students, you totally understand why I have the heart and dedication that do,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez has been working to improve the lives of those with disabilities for the last 40 years, starting with his volunteer work with the Special Olympics. He said it was his mission to provide a voice for this group of capable and deserving individuals.
Since 2017, the program has been a team effort with Texas Health Dallas, Richardson ISD, Project SEARCH and Quest Employment Services.
“Before acceptance into the program, students must apply and pass an interview process. From there, they work three, 10-week rotations. There are more than 25 departments committed to the program at Texas Health Dallas, students have the option of interning in a wide range of locations, from Environmental Services to surgery,” Chandra Caradine with Texas Health Resources said.