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Teen Maze Welcomes 800+ Seventh Graders

Around 850 seventh grade students from a dozen schools in Central Iowa will participate in Teen Maze during the week of April 3-7.

Teen Maze, which is held at the Boone County Fairgrounds, is an interactive, experiential learning event to help youth strengthen their morals and create a healthy environment.

A collaboration between YSS and the Division 11 Kiwanis Clubs of Boone, Greene, and Story Counties, the event helps youth learn to make the right decisions, as well as understand how consequences of their actions can affect their futures and those around them.

“We identified professionals who help deliver the content to the youth, so they are hearing from individuals with life experience in each of the rooms,” says Jennifer Schmit, Director of Community, Youth & Family Development at YSS.

During Teen Maze, students participate in 12 games that teach how to prevent drug/alcohol use, teen pregnancy, and smoking, as well as provide information on how to get jobs, the impact of social media, and many other influential topics.

The interactive activities included a Jeopardy-style game about social media safety, a skit demonstrating peer pressure and substance use, a mock courtroom, true/false scenarios, and more.

“It was a fun and safe way to learn to relieve stress,” a seventh grader reported after touring the self-care room.

Along with YSS and the Division 11 Kiwanis clubs, other organizations and businesses such as Iowa State University, local medical clinics, mental health professionals, law enforcement, and financial institutions provide their resources to the teens during the event.

“Somewhere down the line, one of these kids will use what they learned at Teen Maze to make an important decision—a better decision than they would have otherwise,” says Lisa Ludovico, volunteer for Teen Maze. “Those are the moments that Teen Maze is designed for—what we want to see happen as they grow and mature.”

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