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Dawson County Family Connection, local organizations host successful “Teen Maze” event
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DCJHS ninth graders watch a car rollover simulation during the April 1 “Teen Maze” event at the junior high school. - photo by Erica Jones

On Friday April 1, Dawson County Family Connection, in partnership with the Dawson County School System and several other local organizations, hosted “Teen Maze”, an event for students to learn about the impact that one choice can make on the rest of their lives. 

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Dawson County Emergency Services personnel simulate a car crash scenario during the April 1 “Teen Maze” event at DCJHS. - photo by Erica Jones

The event was for ninth graders at Dawson County Junior High School and provided them each with different scenarios demonstrating the effects their choices can make on their lives. In each hour-long session, groups of students rotated through stations covering all different topics and situations. 

“Teen Maze” started out with two simulations by Dawson County Emergency Services, one of which included a rollover simulator showing what could happen if a driver gets in a car crash and isn’t wearing a seat belt, and the other with a simulated car crash and extraction illustrating the consequences of texting while driving. 

Following the DCES simulations, each student was asked to follow a script in a booklet they were given, which were assigned at random and took the students along the path of life with several different situations along the way. The situations, which were set up at booths around the DCJHS gymnasium, covered a wide variety of topics and included: 

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Dawson County’s Public Affairs Officer Laura Fulcher teaches a ninth grader about electronic footprints online during the April 1 “Teen Maze” event at DCJHS. - photo by Erica Jones

  • Suicide prevention 

  • Electronic footprint

  • Funeral home 

  • Relationships/Sexting

  • Family violence

  • Pregnancy

  • Parenthood

  • Graduation

  • Sheriff/Alcohol

  • Department of Juvenile Justice 

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    DCJHS ninth graders learn about suicide prevention during the April 1 “Teen Maze” event at the junior high school. - photo by Erica Jones

  • Dawson County Magistrate Court 

  • Mental wellness

  • Rehab/Treatment

  • Drugs/Vaping

  • Gaming addiction 

  • Cyberbullying/Bullying

  • Continuing education 

  • Workforce 

In each station, the students learned how one choice, good or bad, can have an impact on the rest of their lives, and were encouraged to graduate and obtain a career without getting blocked by the many obstacles students face that could ultimately prevent them from achieving those goals. 

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DCJHS ninth graders learn about alcohol and its effects using drunk goggles during the April 1 “Teen Maze” event at the junior high school. - photo by Erica Jones

Dawson County Family Connection Coordinator Rebecca Bliss said that she and all the other people who had put so much hard work into making the event happen were pleased with its success and encouraged to see how many people and organizations in the community came together to help provide the simulations and situations for the students. 

“I think it’s been a phenomenal success; not just because of what the students are getting out of it but because everybody at all these stations was so excited about doing it,” Bliss said. “EMS did an incredible job, and how all these different agencies can come together is impressive. I think it was a great success.”