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Special Olympics is passion for Manchester Young Alumni award winner Carol Fike

Carol FikeCarol Fike is living Manchester University’s tradition of service as a special education teacher and coach of a gold-medal Special Olympics team.

For being her best self and helping others to be theirs, she has received the 2019 Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.

The 2010 alumna teaches at DeKalb High School in Auburn, Ind., and the Special Olympics have long held a special place in her heart. In eighth grade, she volunteered at a camp for adults with special needs and at the 2004 USA Special Olympics in Iowa.

“After those two things, I was hooked,” she said.

Ultimately, that led her to become a Special Olympics volunteer for the past six years in DeKalb County. It also led her to become one of three coaches for a DeKalb County Special Olympics basketball team that, in 2018, won a gold medal in the USA Special Olympics Games in Seattle.

It was both a fairy tale ending for a team that was the smallest, youngest and least-experienced in the tournament, and the latest example of Fike living both the tenets of her Church of the Brethren faith and the values instilled in her at Manchester. 

“Basically what happened is, we just ran around anyone who came across us,” Fike said. The team starting training the previous October and its strategy was to build speed and endurance by running.  “We just ran circles around them.”

Fike has always been a doer, and never more so than in her time at Manchester. While pursuing degrees in special education and elementary education, she was involved in the campus ministry, student government and the Student Education Association. She also found time for Symphonic Band, Handbell Choir, Indiana Reading Corps and the Brethren Heritage Tour, for which she served as campus student coordinator.

“When I was in college I was part of the Student Education Association, and so every month we would go up and do an activity with the ARC clientele in Wabash,” Fike said. “Basically that was a chance to interact with adults with special needs and give them opportunities to do things they couldn’t otherwise do.

“And so that’s always been one of my goals in life, is just to give people opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise get. It’s just who I am and one of the reasons I still do what I do.”

Contact for the media
Office of Alumni Relations at 888-257-2586 or alumnioffice@manchester.edu

About Manchester
With campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., Manchester University offers more than 70 areas of academic study to 1,400 students in undergraduate programs,a Master of Accountancy, a Master of Science in pharmacogenomics, a Master of Athletic Training a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a four-year dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu

Our mission
Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

October 2019