Today’s teenagers are faced with many challenges along the path of life, challenges the adults in their lives might not know how to guide them through. Heard County Community Partnership and its collaborative partners, including Heard County School System, are taking action to address a number of these common teen challenges by hosting a Teen Maze.
Simply put, the Teen Maze is the “Game of Life” brought to life! Heard County students in 8th through 12th grades, with parent permission, will take a simulated journey through some of the very difficult, but very real, choices and consequences they are likely to face during their teen years.
The 2022 Heard County Teen Maze (#HCTeenMaze) will take place on March 1st and 2nd at the Heard County Recreation Department. Parents will have the opportunity to preview the event at 8:30 a.m. on March 1st.
The Teen Maze experience aims to show the youth of our community how the decisions they make now have long-lasting effects, not only on their lives but the lives of people around them as well. The real-life scenarios offer simulations of real-life choices, such as drinking and driving, texting and driving, drug use and abuse and shows the real life consequences of those choices.These choices and consequences come as unexpectedly in the Maze as in real life. Students draw their destiny out of a hat and then must deal with the aftermath, whether it be a pregnancy or STD from unprotected sex, or death from driving while texting. Life outcomes could include parenthood, DUI, hospitalization, incarceration, or the ultimate goal: graduation.
Along the path, local professionals in various fields of expertise will present information to students. A student who chooses to drink at a simulated party will face the Franklin Police Department. Under the eye of a Heard County Deputy, a student who chooses to drink and drive will experience driving a golf cart wearing impairment goggles that show the varying levels of intoxication and its effect on driving skills.
Students will experience the dramatic enactment of a crash scene and the emotional turmoil of a parent who’s lost a child in the crash. A student who dies from drug abuse or an STD will see the Heard County Coroner, their own death certificate, and their reflection in a casket. Students who make good choices will graduate with all due pomp and circumstance including a diploma. They may get a job and buy a home.
The ultimate goal of the Teen Maze is to motivate teens to think about the potential consequences of their choices before acting. By doing this, they have a better chance of reaching their ultimate goal in high school – timely high school graduation. We will survey the students before and after to determine the effects of the experience on their thoughts and ideas.
For more information or to volunteer, please contact Kathy Knowles with Heard County Community Partnership at 706-302-9776 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many agencies are involved in presenting the Maze. A sampling of those to be included in the Maze and their roles include:
Heard County School System (graduation gowns and transportation)
Heard County Middle School (oversight, chaperoning and graduation ceremonies)
Heard County DFACS (adoption agency)
Heard County 4-H (pregnancy simulation and baby nursery)
Heard County Health Department (drugstore, pregnancy prevention, STDs)
Heard County Sheriff’s Office (DUI, Impairment Simulations, Arrests)
Heard County Coroner & Pastors (Pronouncements, burials and notifications of next of kin)
Franklin Police Department (DUI, Impairment Simulations, Arrests, Traffic Court)
Heard County EMA (DUI crash scene simulation)
Ga. Dept. of Labor (career information)
Heard County Head Start and Community Action for Improvement (parenting info and assistance)
Pathways and Behavioral Health Link (mental health center)
Carroll Rape Crisis Center (teen violence awareness and prevention)
Pregnancy Resource Center (pregnancy and parenting)
University of West Georgia and West Georgia Technical College (college application and admission requirements)
Carroll Emergency Shelter
Tanner Health System