Project LIFE  
    Learning Independence for Future Employment!
    Started in 2007 as a Forsyth County Schools program, Project L.I.F.E. is an off-campus community-based job training program that provides the development of transferable soft skills while incorporating real-world job readiness skills for students ages 19 and 8 months - 22 with developmental disabilities that need further vocational instruction to help meet their post-secondary outcome IEP goals. Business partners include Siemens, Automation Direct, National Cash Register (NCR), Northside Hospital-Forsyth, PBD Worldwide, Academy of Creative Education, and the FC Board of Education and Administrative Departments.
     Project RISE
    Project R.I.S.E. is a transition program for students ages 19 and 8 months to age 22 with developmental disabilities to further develop adult living and job readiness skills along with access to the community with the goal of increasing independence for a purposeful and fulfilling life.  Eligible RISE students may transition to Project LIFE during their 2nd year, while others will remain in the program until they graduate to their desired post-secondary environments, such as supported employment and/or Adult Day Programs and Services. Business partners include Forsyth County Schools Administrative and Service Departments, Cumming Elementary, Otwell Middle,  PBD Worldwide, Academy of Creative Education, Junior Achievement Center, PBD Worldwide, and the Hightower Food and Clothing Bank.

    Food Industry Siemens/LIFE Siemens/LIFE NCR/LIFE LIFE/NCR LIFE/Ridgeland
    Because Project L.I.F.E.and Project R.I.S.E are supported and sponsored through a unique collaboration between Vocational Rehabilitation, Forsyth County Schools, and the business partner, these students must be deemed eligible for services by Vocational Rehabilitation and participate in a work evaluation prior to eligibility determination. This assessment and other information gathered will assist the committee in identifying student strengths, weaknesses, social and work-related skills and behaviors, as well as independence levels. We also ask that students with developmental disabilities apply for the Medicaid waiver prior to entering the program. This will allow VR and Project L.I.F.E./R.I.S.E. to collaborate with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities office in case supportive employment is desired beyond services provided by VR. This ensures a smooth transition from L.I.F.E./R.I.S.E. to adulthood and allows the individual to access more services upon graduation.

    Looking for more information about eligibility requirements? Click here.

    Videos addressing Frequently Asked Questions for parents/guardians:

    What are businesses saying?

    Students in my area (parts and receiving) have enhanced the output production by 50%.  I have found that the interns take pride in their work and take their job training very seriously.  Their positive attitude and good work ethic has impacted the other employees and their performance.  Expectations remain high despite it being a training program and this provides real-world demands on the interns.

    - Brent Montgomery, Production Floor- Materials Supervisor, Siemens, Inc.
    Turning lemons into lemonade:
    During the COVID Pandemic, some of our job sites needed to close their doors to students, interns, and volunteers. One of the Project L.I.F.E. classes decided to use this time to incorporate job-readiness skills while helping others in need. Check out the video. 

    Project LIFE Video

    For more information about these programs, please contact Susan Darlington, Transition Coordinator for the Department of Special Education, 770-887-2461, ext. 202327 or sdarlington@forsyth.k12.ga.us.