The Heard County Community Partnership will be hosting the Teen Maze on March 1-2 at the Heard County (Thompson Road) Recreation Center. The organization partners with the Heard County School System, local law enforcement, and several other private and public entities to put on this event that will address a number of common challenges faced by teens. “The teen maze allows our teenagers an opportunity to experience the consequences of making poor decisions without actually doing real harm to themselves,” claims Heard County High School principal J.J. Wahl. “We want to thank our entire community and especially the Heard County Community Partnership for putting on this event to help our students.”
Simply put, the Teen Maze is the “Game of Life” brought to life. Heard County students in eighth through twelfth 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. Parents will have the opportunity to preview the event at 8:30 a.m. on March 1.
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, 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," stated Kathy Knowles, Executive Director of the Heard County Community Partnership. "By doing this, they have a better chance of becoming successful and happy adults." For more information or to volunteer, please contact Kathy Knowles at 706-302-9776 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teen Maze Pictures from 2018.