Meet Parth, a 21-year-old Kennedy Krieger student and Project SEARCH intern, who loves to get acquainted with new people.
They, in turn, should be ready for his jokes. In fact, he has one on cue: “Did you hear the rumor about butter?” The punchline, of course, is “Well, I don’t want to spread it.”
“He’s never met a stranger,” his mother, Priyanka, said.
Parth uses voice assistive technology to deliver this wit. Even without it, his warmth and delight at being with other people are immediately noticeable, Priyanka said. He’s quick to tell people that he is a fan of the UNO card game and also a vegetarian who enjoys helping his family in the kitchen.
Parth has a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident and is also quadriplegic. He began receiving services from Kennedy Krieger six years ago. In August, he started his Project SEARCH internship, which because of the COVID pandemic, means he will be working at Kennedy Krieger’s Broadway campus. There, he hopes to learn the skills for a future career in science or computer programming.
“It seems like a great program for all the kids,” Priyanka said. “They get out of their high school bubble, learn new things, meet new people, and get job skills. Even socially, it’s great for the kids.”