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Come join us. We are looking for volunteers for a social group that goes on a variety of field trips, one Saturday per month. The group is made up of adults with developmental disabilities from Opportunity Works called The Explorers.

Background checks are required.

Please contact Karen Nicholas @ [email protected]
Suzanne Roberts @ [email protected]

Join the Explorers on an adventure…


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Last Friday we celebrated the 2023 Opportunity Works ProjectSEARCH Graduates! They’ve completed their 9 month internship program on the Haverhill campus of Northern Essex Community College, gathering skills and making meaningful connections along the way.
The interns rotated through multiple departments, depending on their job goals and interests.
Internship locations included:
Thank you to everyone who attended the graduation and supported our graduates throughout the last nine months!
UPDATE 6.26.23: Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services Commissioner, Jane Ryder, attended our ceremony and featured the OW ProjectSEARCH program in this month’s newsletter:

Thank you to everyone who attended the reception, and visited the gallery throughout its run over at the NAA! There were so many different mediums that the artists used throughout the year with OpArt, and each person was able to try new things and see which medium they enjoyed the most. Many used acrylic or water color paint, as well as some incredible collage work. Congratulations to the artists for another amazing exhibit.


Project SEARCH Opportunity Works takes place on the campus of Northern Essex Community College over a 9-month period. Participants begin and end each day with work readiness classes covering topics like job interviews, résumé writing, teamwork, professionalism, and technology in the workplace. In between the classroom learning, students spend their time interning in different Northern Essex departments. Over the course of the school year, students intern for three months in each of three different departments which range from YMCA Day Care, NECC Police Department, Public Health Response Team, Student Life, Perfect Blend Café & much more!

During NECC’s spring break, OW ProjectSEARCH welcomed guest speakers to learn more information about life skills and personal finance. Opportunity Works board member, Heather Harrell, gave an extremely informative presentation on the basics of banking to the current ProjectSearch interns. On the heals of learning keys terms in their classroom prior to the presentation, the interns were well prepared with questions. Some questions included:

 “Can you see how much is in your account if you have a banking app on your phone?”
“What is the difference between a debit and a credit card?”
“Do you write on the back of a check?”

This facilitated an even more open conversation about banking, and really helped drive the presentation as Heather had all the bases covered (see Objectives). objectives hh

At the end of the presentation were the key takeaways to the basics of banking and should be reminders for everyone!

Thank you to Heather Harrell for your visit and a wonderful presentation, and good luck to OW ProjectSearch Class of 2023 on your final semester of internships!

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Who better than our OW staff person Debbie to run the self care room CBDS classroom!! Her shirt says it all!


In self care and independent living skills, folks learn how to care for themselves and how often they should! Basic tooth hygiene, overall hygiene, kitchen safety and skills, meal preparation, anything you would need to live independently is creatively taught in this classroom on a daily basis.

OW participant Tom B. comments “I like learning about self care and caring for ourselves because it’s important.”


Thank you for your support! We had an AMAZING day, thanks to you!

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February has just arrived! What an incredible year it’s been so far!  We have started our 2nd round of internships & are ready for new challenges and experiences. This unit, we have established & utilized our own professional emails, learned to navigate websites &  learned the importance of online safety.  Currently,  we are learning about Health and Wellness like how to manage our stress, employment impact on our health, the importance of hygiene & grooming & about our Mental Health.

Do you know we run the Snack Bar independently?!

At the Snack Bar, we manage the cash register, restock snacks, take orders, and serve customers!  The picture on the right is Katherine G who has the Snack bar as her internship this round!

The Music Department is our NEW internship! At the music dept, we work alongside our supervisor, Alisa to help take inventory of music instruments, scan sheet music, organize NECC stage performance supplies & much more! The above photo is Cameron A. working hard doing inventory at the music department.\

For more information about Project SEARCH or to schedule a tour contact

our program manager Jessica at

[email protected]


Since the spawn of remote services in 2020 our Development Associate, Jillian Sacco, has been teaching step by step drawing classes once a week. Turning the corner on year 3 of weekly drawing class, now mostly in-person, the folks have been tackling various subjects like The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Big Foot, and Apple Pie. The goal is to have a mix of realistic and cartoon-like drawings in order to both challenge and empower the artist. Over time the artists have learned different skills, and fun facts about the subjects along the way. This week’s drawing is what Jillian calls “Fashionable Winter Raccoon” in light of the upcoming arctic blast. Be sure to bundle up this weekend and stay tuned for more drawings!

Job well done hot cocoa bar for the Parker Hannifin Crew (pictured is Renee and Jasper)! The employment team wanted to celebrate the crew and all their hard work at Parker Hannifin this year!