The smile plastered across the face of Samantha Huffman was — as the saying goes — priceless.
Huffman was just one of many participants in the 10th annual Job Olympics hosted by Making Opportunities in Vocational Education.
Students from school districts in Lee’s Summit, Belton and Blue Springs joined forces with students from O’Hara High School to compete in job-related events during Job Olympics, a one-day event for special needs students.
Representatives from area businesses including Hy-Vee, Culver’s and Mr. Goodcents judged students on their abilities from job interviewing and professional dress, to sacking groceries and table setting.
Huffman, a senior at Lee’s Summit High School, was awarded a silver medal for her work in dishwashing at the event May 2 at Unity Village.
“It was a pretty good feeling,” said Huffman, who was making her second appearance at Job Olympics.
“Competing against different schools is fun,” she said. “We actually are doing pretty well.”
Kelly Twenter, a life skills teacher at Lee’s Summit High School who will take a central office job this fall, has been involved with Job Olympics since its inception. Smiles like the one Huffman displayed are what makes the event bigger and better each year, Twenter said.
“You’ve seen the smiles,” he said. “You’ve seen the arms up in the air (in triumph). This means so much to these kids and their family members who are all out there in the stands. That’s pretty awesome.”
Lee’s Summit High freshman student Carter Moore served as a volunteer for the event. An adviser suggested that he give volunteering at Job Olympics a try. Carter was glad to have the opportunity to participate.
“I have a lot of family members involved in this sort of thing and it’s something near and dear to me,” he said. “It was fun; it was cool to see them all do the things that they have been working hard on and just get to show what they’ve done. It’s awesome. They get to go up there and get a medal and get cheers and applause from our school. It’s cool.”