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Corewell Health program launches young adults with special needs in new direction

Program at Corewell Health in Grosse Pointe supports young adults with special needs
Program at Corewell Health in Grosse Pointe supports young adults with special needs 02:56

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Three days a week, Griffin Wright spends his day at Corewell Health Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital.

He's one of nearly a dozen volunteers who take part in a program called LAUNCH.

"We feel the term LAUNCH really describes what happens to these young adults when they're here. It launches them in a new direction," said Betsy Schulte, director of volunteers.

Corewell Health Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital

Schulte says the program is for unique learners with special needs.

"The hopes of this program is to help these young adults with new skills and talents. Our vision for the program is to help them get experiences in the working world to learn possibly what they would be good at, what they're interested in and what their skill set is," Schulte stated.

Created in September 2023, Griffin has been involved with LAUNCH from the start.

Each day, he and other volunteers in the program follow a schedule and are assigned a variety of responsibilities for different departments in the hospital.

"They help to remake the beds, stock the rooms, bring waters and other necessities to recovering patients. They also discharge patients after they're trained. We also have them in imaging. Imaging is the area with the CAT scan/radiology, and they actually go back and sit in the waiting room and work with the staff, bring patients back on stretchers, on wheelchairs, and they also monitor patients to see how they're doing,"  said Schulte. "We also have a partnership with administration, and we have something called the caring cart, and it's a cart that goes around the hospital, and we bring treats and things to staff, and the volunteers that work in the LAUNCH program go around the hospital, and there's such a warm reception for them. They actually fill this hospital with joy. We also have CPD, which is Central Processing, and some of the volunteers actually disinfect equipment, and we also have the gift shop."

Radiology is a department that particularly inspires Griffin.

Corewell Health Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital

"I really enjoy having the opportunity to learn everything and I've met some nice people every time I come into work. My ultimate career that I want to go for is a radiology technician," said Griffin.

Programs like LAUNCH give people like Griffin opportunities like everyone else.

"I know when he walks in the door, there are so many other people who believe in him. They've given him so much opportunity, so much acceptance," said Griffin's mother, Regen Wright.

It's that kindness from staff and the impact these volunteers have on each person they meet that make this program successful.

"We are onto something so powerful and what I've seen happen with these young adults is life-changing. I've watched where they come in, and they barely look you in the eye, and within 3 to 6 months, they walk around the hospital like they own it," said Schulte.

"When he was growing up, he always had a label. Here, there's no labels. They see the person and that's…that's amazing," Regen said.

The hospital plans to bring on a few more volunteers and hopes to expand the program to other Corewell hospitals.

If you're interested in signing up for the LAUNCH program, you can email Betsy Schulte at 

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