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Students place second at annual Job Olympics

Students display their work related skills on Thursday, April 13 at Johnson County Community College

Sydney Parker, JAG Sports Editor

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Senior Julie Burke places toothpaste in a plastic bag during the bag stuffing competition on Thursday, April 13.

Students who competed at the Job Olympics received second place overall at JCCC on Thursday, April 13.

The Job Olympics is an annual competition for students involved in the special education department to show off their employment skills by competing in events such as sorting mail, stocking items, and setting tables. Each student who participated competed in four events, which took place in various classrooms throughout the JCCC campus. Some students waited in long lines to compete because more than 500 students from other districts participated in the competition as well.

Prior to the competition, transitional specialist Melynda Kaifes registered each student for their events and handled all of the required paperwork in order to allow the students to devote their time to preparing for the event. Kaifes hoped that the students who competed took pride in their performance.

“I hope they see their hard work pay off,” Kaifes said. “This is like a state competition for the students. The students feel confident with their events and try their hardest when they are completing the event.”

The Peers in Learning students also came to the event in order to support their peers and help with the events. Junior Taylar Powers witnessed the efforts put forth by the students by helping them prepare for their events.

“Every class period for about a month we practiced the events they would be competing in,” Powers said. “I [saw] how much went into this competition and saw how hard the students worked.”

The Job Olympics concluded with an awards ceremony, which became the highlight of the day for Kaifes.

“[My favorite part is] always the awards ceremony. It is the happiest place on Earth,” Kaifes said. “The students are very excited for their peers when they win. The students run to the stage and get their medals. It is truly the best time to place the medal around the neck of a student.”

According to Powers, this experience taught students important lessons that would stay with them throughout their lives.

“I think that the students are taking away life skills that they will need in the future,” Powers said. “I think this really helps them prepare for after high school.”

 

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Students place second at annual Job Olympics