How might we provide hands-on, interactive life skills training and encourage college education in underserved students?
LIFEx (Learn, Imagine, Freedom and Explore) answers the need for high school students to have innovative and engaging experiences that help them prepare for what their futures may hold. The One Stone team took the LIFEx game created by a previous One Stone group to the next level this year, maintaining its core message but revising its implementation. Embracing the One Stone mantra of ‘51’ and continuous prototyping, the LIFEx team redesigned the life-sized simulation board game to include additional factors beyond the traditional goal of acquiring money. These included: having epic adventures, building relationships, living out the values of one’s moral compass, finding passions, and giving back. Interactive stations outside of playing the simulation were also added to the experience. One Stone was thrilled to partner with Step Ahead Idaho and the State of Idaho Division of Professional Technical Education to provide additional information to recipients about post-secondary education options.
When all the hard work was completed, the traveling LIFEx roadshow visited three separate schools and spent three hours implementing the LIFEx experience at each location. One Stone team members set up the detailed LIFEx game, ran stations within the game, and led a “Dress for Success” seminar. The newly designed LIFEx book each recipient took home was filled with insider tips and tricks designed to help recipients navigate the next stages of their lives. It included college application tips, independent living advice, and career builder helpers.
In the largest Project Good project of 2016, approximately 350 recipients experienced the LIFEx message. The skill students most frequently reported learning at the LIFEx event was how to tie a tie. Other responses included college application advice, how to dress for professional events, record an income statement, perform a proper handshake, effectively grocery shop, and, most importantly, gained reinforcement that life is unpredictable. The two most common words used to describe the LIFEx event across the three locations were: fun and informative!
Over the three schools, an average of 86% of recipients would recommend this activity to a friend.
A frequent reflection voiced by one participant: “The Life game was really informative and showed me what my life could look like!”
One Stone members also reflected on their process. “I liked how we designed the game to focus on things like life skills and life events other than money.”
Geneve, a junior at Renaissance High School, summed up the largest lesson of the planning team: “It’s not about changing everyone’s lives. As long as you can make a difference in one person’s life in depth and significantly, that’s all that matters.”