Supporting inclusivity, the Medina County Career Center (MCCC) participated in the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program. As the first career technical center in Ohio to join, MCCC hosted an invitational event, bringing together over 150 athletes and Unified partners from five different districts.

This initiative is crucial as it aims to unify people with and without disabilities, promoting social inclusion within educational settings. Tracy Radabaugh, instructor of the Career and Community Experience (CCE) program shared her enthusiasm, “Joining the Unified Champion Schools program was a monumental step for us, especially since we’re the first career technical center in the state to do so.”

The event included participants from Highland Schools, Buckeye Schools, Cloverleaf Schools, Strongsville Schools, and Max S. Hayes High School from Cleveland Metropolitan Schools. “Since we don’t have a traditional field or track, we decided to bring everyone here and host the event in our own unique way,” explained Radabaugh.

The day began with the national anthem, proudly led by MCCC’s Criminal Justice students. Adding to the festivities, the Ohio State Highway Patrol showcased several vehicles, and the Medina County Sheriff’s Office treated everyone to ice cream. Cosmetology students offered face painting and hair tinsel, while Construction Trades students engaged attendees with a prize wheel. The Business and Marketing Technology program provided refreshments with popcorn and coffee, and Animal Management and Care students delighted visitors with a petting zoo.

Radabaugh underscored the collaborative effort involved in the event. “Making cornhole boards was a unified project that involved CCE and Construction Trades students.” She emphasized the broader impact of the day, stating, “Today was about more than just competition; it was a learning experience on the importance of living, working, and playing side-by-side with everyone.”

This event not only highlighted the career center’s commitment to inclusion but also reinforced the importance of community and unity in sports and education. As Radabaugh emphasized, “It’s about having fun together, with and without developmental disabilities, participating side by side.”