• Last modified 705 days ago (Oct. 18, 2018)


Project graduate finds purpose

Staff writer

Alli Larsen of Marion was a member of the first group of interns who enrolled in Project SEARCH at Tabor College. She completed the program in May and is a dietary aide at St. Luke Hospital.

“Alli works hard,” said head cook Shawna Pierce. “She’s shy but very polite. She has a positive attitude all of the time.”

Project SEARCH was established as a partnership between Tabor and Marion County Special Education Cooperative to give young adults with disabilities job skills training.

Program director Robert Haude said the concept was conceived three years ago as a way for the county to provide extra support for people who need help in pursuing employment.

Three young people enrolled the first year and completed the program. They secured employment before their graduation.

This year, six are enrolled.

“We’re really excited about doubling the numbers,” Haude said. “It took a lot of hard work.”

He said there is growing interest, so the program is being expanded to serve people up to age 30 who have their diploma.

People can help provide operational costs for Project SEARCH by contributing to money market accounts set up at Central National Bank in Marion and Hillsboro.

Haude credits Project SEARCH’s connection with Tabor College as a key to the program’s success.

“The leadership at Tabor has just been amazing to work with,” he said. “They’ve accepted this program as one of their own. Tabor is a community that is welcoming, that sees people first, and provides a nurturing environment for people to grow.”

For more information, Haude can be reached at (620) 947-3121, ext. 1325 or by email at

Last modified Oct. 18, 2018