Jim Sinek addresses the graduation attendees.

“This is absolutely the best partnership we have,” Boone Hospital Center President Jim Sinek said of Seamless Transition through Enhanced Partnership (STEP) while addressing the graduation crowd. “We get some of the best people through this program.”

The collaboration involving ACT, Boone County Family Resources, Boone Hospital Center, Central Missouri Regional Office, Columbia Public schools (CPS), and Vocational Rehabilitation, has seen many successes. This year, the accomplishments of a fifth graduating class were added to the program’s record.

The graduates

“You have gained marketable skills, problem solving strategies, and initiative. You’ve learned how to accept directives and guidance. And you’ve successfully completed occupational projects through STEP,” CPS Transition Coordinator Carol Smarr said to the graduating students.

“These are five awesome interns. It has been exciting to watch them grow and bring joy to everyone in this hospital,” said STEP Instructor Jacquie Bowles.

The five students comprising the graduating class gained valuable work experience by completing an internship at Boone Hospital. (Click here to learn more about these students and the STEP program)

Nick worked in Distribution restocking closets throughout the hospital.

“Nick never had a bad day. He’s funny and gives the best compliments,” Bowles said.

His dream job is being a manager for the University of Missouri Men’s Basketball team. He would settle for a job stocking groceries or working in Central Services at the hospital.

Russell was responsible for taking surgical carts to and from the operating room and packaging sterilized equipment.

Bowles says, “He was bound and determined to accomplish everything in his department.”

He would like to work with computers, his true passion, or in sterile processing at the hospital.

Shekila cleaned equipment and stocked pantries, among many other things, in the Rehabilitation area and South Tower. Shekila would like to work in a preschool or stock linens in a retirement center.

“Shekila made a lot of friends and overcame her fear of talking while at Boone,” Bowles says.

Louis worked all over the hospital as a House Orderly. He moved equipment, stocked wheelchairs and oxygen tanks, and transported patients.

“He was not a fan of talking in the beginning of the school year, but now he’s the mayor of the hospital,” Bowles jokes.

Louis would like to work in a grocery store or work in a kitchen washing dishes. He really wants to live on his own and have a car.

The fifth intern The 5th intern had a successful STEP experience and is now successfully employed.

“These timid interns grew to be adults looking for employment,” ACT STEP Career Specialist Barb Wright says. “Their compassion for others will carry them far.”

Congratulations graduates!