15th Annual Youth Career Olympics Showcases Excellence

More than 250 students from 10 Northeast Ohio and Cleveland high schools competed in Y.O.U.’s 15th Annual Youth Career Olympics on April 23 at Cleveland Clinic’s Lyndhurst Campus.

The day was a great success!

The one-day event, a culmination of everything the students learned in their respective Y.O.U. Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates (JOG) courses, allowed them to demonstrate to Northeast Ohio employers their maturity, professionalism, dedication to community service, and knowledge of industries in the region.

The students who participated in the Youth Career Olympics competed in one of 10 events: Employability Skills Testing; Employment Interview; Employment Application Review; Program Cover Design; Community Service; Corporate Team Challenge; Budgeting for Life; Public Speaking; Visual Display; and Decision Making.

Each first place winner received a $100 Visa Gift Card and a trophy.

It was an exciting day. The students prepare for this event all year long, and while some will take home trophies, they are all winners. The real prize is everything they learn during their Y.O.U. JOG course to be successful in their career and their life. We are very proud of how far each student has come to participate today.
— Craig Dorn, Y.O.U. President & CEO

The students who compete in the Youth Career Olympics learn job readiness skills and the social and emotional skills they need to graduate high school and pursue post-secondary opportunities through their JOG course. The class also teaches career development, employability, and life and leadership skills.

Y.O.U. provided the JOG course to 10 high schools this school year: Glenville High School, Lincoln-West Global School of Studies, John Marshall High School, John F. Kennedy High School, John Adams High School, Euclid High School, Maple Heights High School’s Educational and Career Advancement Center (ECAC), Oberlin High School, Shaker Heights High School, and Washington Park High School.

In addition to the competitions, students and Northeast Ohio employers participated in an Opportunity Fair, where approximately 35 local companies accepted students’ resumes for open positions. Representatives from the U.S. Military and area colleges also met with youth during the fair.

Don Graves, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations at KeyBank, served as the event’s keynote speaker. He recounted his years as a youth growing up in Glenville and East Cleveland. He reminded the students to hold tight to their dreams, even when life gets hard, live with a sense of urgency and purpose, and keep your head down and work hard. He choked up as he shared that on his first trip home to Cleveland as an aide to President Obama, he flew over both his hometowns on Air Force One.

WKYC’s Tiffany Tarpley emceed the award’s celebration with poise and style. We appreciate her passion for helping our youth, her professionalism, and her continued support year after year at our signature event.

Thank you to our volunteers who give their time to support and mentor our youth. Our organization envisions a greater community working together to help our youth get on paths to economic self-sufficiency. The Youth Career Olympics embodies our vision and our dream.

We would like to thank the following sponsors who made this event possible:

Cleveland Clinic

Dollar Bank
First National Bank
Huntington Bank
OMNOVA Solutions
Robert Half International
RPM International
The Sherwin-Williams Company
Westfield Insurance

Missy Toms