The Game of Life conference is an opportunity for middle and high schools to come together to learn about current youth issues and work on addressing them as a community rather than individual schools.
Students from Kent School District middle and high schools participated in Game of Life organized by Kent Parks and designed by members of the Kent Police Youth Board to support students with obstacles in life such as bullying, mental illness, drugs, and alcohol.
The youth board decides each year on the topics for the workshops and students were able to choose workshops tailored to their focus. Students were designated into school teams led by a counselor or teacher.
The keynote message emphasized the importance of uplifting others and that students may not feel they are strong enough or have the power to stand up to bullying, but need to conquer their fears and support others.
“I’ve learned how to speak up and voice out my thoughts. Being on the Kent Police Youth Board, you realize that if you don’t share your ideas or communicate well, none of this will ever take place and they’ve honestly become like a second family. They become your support system and you can honestly rely on them for anything. I really encourage others to join Game of Life so they can become a leader. It’s really good. If you’re comfortable to speak your mind and if you share your ideas you can contribute a lot and you can change someone else’s life.” Said Andeep Sandhu, a Kentridge Senior.
School teams spent part of the day talking about issues students see in their school such as bullying, social media issues, and vaping. They designed a project to address one or more of these issues and may receive a mini grant from the Kent Police Department and the Kent Drug Free Coalition to help fund their project.
The conference has been providing students tools on how to address teen issues for 30 years with 200 students and 25 team leaders in attendance this year.