Bridging the Future to Today

Idea Leader:
Adrianna Herring

Location: Knightdale, NC

Partner Organization: Genuine Self Images

Project Summary: After researching the challenges youth face on the road to success, Adrianna Herring, 16, formed several subcommittees to create and produce a board game called “Teen Life: Living the Life of a Modern Teen” which will be provided to many youth-serving organizations. 



Teen Life, new game designed by teens for teens

Adrianna Herring and her peers decided to enter the AT&T America’s Promise My Idea Grant competition after discussing the dropout crisis in North Carolina. They wanted to address the dropout crisis in a fun, innovate way while provoking discussion around teen issues. The project was titled Bridging the Future To Today. Adrianna and team were awarded $15,000 to implement a board game.

On Saturday, October 16, 2010, the team named the board game “Teen Life” with the slogan, “Living The Life Of A Modern Teen.” The magic happened and the team split up in groups and began hashing out next steps. The room was electrifying because everyone had so many ideas.  The outline of the board was designed a few weeks after until it was completed and sent to the artist. 

The teens decided the board game will have different places teens will encounter day to day.   After research, including interviews, collecting statistical data and learning, the game created presents kids with choices. Their response should reflect their current behavior or choices they would make. The game will simulate what could happen as a result of those choices according to the research. Teen Life will provoke discussion, get kids to think and learn facts about their healthy and unhealthy choices in a fun and relatable way. It will allow for self reflection and help young people see how their actions impact all aspects of their life. 

The instructions of the game took a while for the team to master. Each player will roll the dice and land on one of the images on the board and then draw a card from the appropriate stack of cards. The card will contain an open ended question, pose a scenario with an action, and/or state a fact. Based on how the player responds, an outcome will occur that simulates real life.

For example, if a player draws a card presented with a scenario of underage drinking and the player would choose to drink or not to drink. One of the outcomes could be court and a criminal record resulting in impact on current or future funds. The player would have to pay some amount. The outcomes for each player could result in the player gaining/losing money or points, put in juvenile detention or the hospital. The highest score is calculated by adding the points and money each player has together.

Here are a few sample questions from the board game:

  • You have just been informed that due to recent photos of you on Facebook showing you drinking and partying that you are no longer a suitable candidate for the job you applied for. Move back one space
  • Why is dropping out of school not cool?
  • Your friend pressures you to drink and smoke after school. You get addicted! Pay $50

 Teen Life will have a positive impact on improving graduation because it will be played in safe places, giving the teens a forum to have open discussion. The research and the construction of the game was a service learning project for young people. There has already been an overwhelming response in the community about the project. Many organization are ready to play it. The game is free of charge to any non-profit organization that agrees to send in survey information. 

Genuine Self Images mission is to offer unique and customized services that will educate, encourage, strengthen and empower pre-teens, adolescent girls and young women; assisting them with personal growth and positive change. We provide innovative services and technological solutions along with our strategic alliances with other organizations.