In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, four Project SEARCH graduates got to learn a little bit about banking. They spent the day with PNC Greater Maryland at their Harborside location for Disability Mentoring Day on October 19th. Our board member Erik Daly and his colleague Christine Oughton, both senior vice presidents at PNC Bank, were instrumental in making this unique opportunity happen.
About the day, Erik Daly stated, “As the parent of a special needs child, I have a strong appreciation and passion for what The Arc Baltimore does for the community of Baltimore and understand how much a day like today means to those kids. I’m honored to be a member of the Board of Trustees at The Arc Baltimore, and I’m humbled by the support of my colleagues at PNC who took the time to participate in today’s event.”
The four graduates Francine Jones, Devin Minor, Brian Watkins and Shaquandra White were accompanied by Employment Support Specialist Danielle Gipson and Senior Director of Competitive Employment Joanna Falcone. Joanna shared that “We were thrilled to partner with PNC Bank for Disability Mentoring Day! The PNC Team made us all feel very welcome, and the Project SEARCH graduates who participated were very excited they had the opportunity to learn about so many aspects of your business and to shadow PNC employees at work. It was truly a wonderful experience for all!”
The day began with a welcome breakfast with several PNC employees. The PNC team could not have been any more welcoming as they shared information about their work experiences. After breakfast, the group went on a tour of the PNC Branch where they got to see the vault and the safe-deposit boxes. They also visited the Trading Desk where PNC employees talked about the markets and fielded great questions. Then, at a quick stop to see the outdoor Living Wall that can be seen at the intersection of Light St. and Pratt St., the PNC team discussed their environmental efforts.
After the tour, all of the internship graduates went off individually with different PNC employees from a variety of departments to shadow them on their jobs. The graduates learned about their mentor’s role at PNC, and participated in interactive activities with their partner.
At the closing lunch, many of the graduates reflected upon the day. Devin said “It was pretty exciting! I liked everything I did.” Francine stated, “I liked working on the computer. It was cool!” Shaquandra exclaimed, “My favorite part was going around with my mentor to see what she does every day at work.”