Former Clemson University quarterback Tajh Boyd stopped by St. Francis Downtown on May 2 to visit with students in the Project SEARCH program and offer them some words of encouragement.
The visit was part of the 28-year-old athlete's new job - running a foundation aimed at empowering and enabling youth in South Carolina to overcome adversity through education, mentoring and character development. Thursday, he shared his own story of perseverance and faith, which included many lessons that he recieved from Clemson's head football coach, Dabo Swinney.
"All roles are important," Boyd told students. "If you give everything you've got every day, life gets better and better. I promise you."
It was fitting advice, considering the program is run on that very belief. Project SEARCH is a school-to-work transition program for students with intellectual and neurological disabilities. They participate in unpaid internships in real-life workplaces so they can learn the skills needed to better their chances of finding fulfilling jobs after graduation.
These students are in class every morning and then go to work in the hospital every afternoon, serving in the cafeteria, transport, and other departments.
"These are young adults that often times society feels are unemployable and limited and can't do, but this program proves that's not the case," says program leader, Cheryl Johnson.
Seven students from the inaugural class were hired by Bon Secours St. Francis after graduation in 2018. This year, there are nine students hoping to find similar success.
To read more about this program and Tajh Boy'd visit to the classroom, read the full story in the Greenville News.