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Project RISE

Project RISE (Reaching for Independent Successful Employment) creates employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities through:

Paid employment

Positions may be part time or full time, based upon the needs of the hiring department. We focus on tasks that are learned through on-the-job training vs. formal education. Individuals with disabilities are employed throughout the hospital in the following roles:

  • Clerical support

  • Patient activities

  • Guest services

  • Maintenance of equipment and facilities

  • Distribution of supplies

  • Ambulatory clinic support 

Supported volunteering

Volunteer experience offers individuals with disabilities the chance to explore potential career choices, learn about workplace expectations and build marketable skills. This component of the program is known as PAVE (Providing Accessible Volunteer Experience). Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Greeting and escorting visitors

  • Interacting with children waiting for medical appointments

  • Providing office support

  • Distributing supplies and donated items

Transition from school to work

Student interns with disabilities from two Kansas City area school districts come to the hospital throughout the school year to gain work experience. School district staff staff members are available to assist hospital departments with training students. Children's Mercy is a host site for Project SEARCH, an intensive year-long program for high school students with disabilities. Students participate in classroom activities and internship rotations in three different hospital departments.

Career guidance

Project RISE assists current and former Children's Mercy patients preparing for transition to adulthood with employment-related resources, including connecting patients with community agencies that provide support for college, vocational training or a job search. Teen patients with disabilities or chronic health conditions may receive assistance with preparation of a resume, interview practice and the skills needed to complete a job application. This may be done one on one or within a group setting in our Career Academy classes, offered quarterly. History of care at Children's Mercy is not required to attend Career Academy classes. 

Want to learn more about Project RISE?

Click the button below to complete a survey and set up a meeting with the Program Manager.

Benefits for employers

Learn more about the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities.

Watch to learn more about Project RISE



  • Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. Employment candidates must be at least 18 years of age and graduated from high school.

  • Volunteers and employees are required to do a health screening and background check. Employees must also pass a drug screen.

  • Available opportunities are determined by the business needs of the hospital. We expect that volunteers and employees are able to perform assigned tasks independently after an initial training period, as well as independently manage any personal care needs.