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Students Compete in 5th Annual Job Olympics - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Students Compete in 5th Annual Job Olympics

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Madisyn Miller is hard at work, putting together an order in the fast food station of this year's Job Olympics, and it's something she's glad to be a part of.

"I can learn about the different skills that I need in order to get the job," explained Miller, a Fredonia High School senior.

That's the main focus of this event as kids with learning disabilities from seven different Kansas school districts get the chance to compete in activities to prepare them for the future.

"One of the things that we work on through this process is those soft skills, those employability skills that employers in our community say, 'We need to have these things,' so that's what we focus on," Julie Bruington, Director of Tri-County Special Education explained.

Miller appreciates the opportunity to test her abilities throughout the different job stations that range from grocery packing to professional interviews.

"Learning the different skills and learning the different kinds of jobs that involve each skill," said Miller.

These practical exercises are preparing these kids for the future in a fun way.

"This is like the Super Bowl for these kids. They truly enjoy being together and interacting with their peer groups. They're so proud of their efforts and so proud of themselves," said Bruington.

Volunteers like senior James Wright are happy to help out with the day's activities.

"I mean it just gives them great opportunities, and coming here to the Job Olympics, it helps them develop a great work ethic so it just puts a smile on my face knowing I can be behind the stage helping and everything," said Wright.

At the end of the day, all these kids are winners.

"It makes me feel very proud," said Miller.

More than 50 volunteers ranging from high schoolers to teachers and administrators helped make the day possible and Fredonia's local Sonic prepared lunch for all the participants and volunteers.

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