Sterling Heights

Unique partnership to pair students with disabilities with adaptive internships in Sterling Heights

What’s happening: A unique partnership between the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department, Utica Community Schools, and Project SEARCH will soon introduce a new program that better prepares students with disabilities for life after graduation. The program runs from August 2024 through May 2025.

What it is: The program will invite students with disabilities to work at the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department as adaptive interns, where they’ll gain hands-on experience in a work environment, developing skills, building confidence, and preparing for their post-secondary education lives. Roles will be assigned relating to the students’ interests and abilities, which could include clerical support, customer service, and facility maintenance.

Why it is: “Project search is a great example of how community partnerships are opening doors for our graduates,” says Utica Community Schools Superintendent Robert Monroe. “This first-of-its-kind collaboration will give our students with disabilities essential job skills that will empower them to realize their future goals and dreams.” 

How it works: Six adaptive interns will be enrolled per each of the three, 10-week internships over the course of the program. To learn more about the application process, contact Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation at (586) 446-2700 or visit

What they’re saying: “Our department is excited to offer this unique opportunity to adaptive students within Utica Community Schools,” says Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Adaptive Recreation Specialist Rebecca Lynn. “At Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation, we believe in the potential of every individual. This new program will complement our growing list of popular adaptive recreation programming, and we want to continue to foster programs like this where everyone can learn, grow and thrive.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.