For the fourth year in a row, SCV Youth Project leaders brought together 14 youth- focused agencies from in and around the Santa Clarita Valley to participate in the Game of Life.
The event was held Thursday at Canyon High School.
“Today is an opportunity for other youth-focused organizations collaborate with us and to teach kids about these programs and resources that are available,” said Kim Goldman, executive director of the SCV Youth Project. “The mission of the youth project is to equip kids with the tools they need to make healthy decisions.
The organizations that attended the event include Santa Clarita Valley Safe Rides, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, California Highway Patrol, Child and Family Center, City of Santa Clarita-Community Services Division, SCV Pregnancy Center,Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley, Action Family Foundation, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers and a counselor from the school.
“We decided it’s important to arm teens with as much information on the front end of things to be preventative so we’re not always catching kids in crisis, we can catch them before,” Goldman said.
Teens were each given a piece of paper with a crisis on it. Crises included being open about homosexuality, teen pregnancy and being sexually abused.
“A lot of the students don’t know that we exist or there is a lot of stigma attached to what we do or the services that we offer,” said Karissa Valencia, program director for the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley. “So, we just to get the word out and to let students know that if they do find themselves in abusive relationships, that they have an agency that they can go to for that support.”
Other schools that are expected to have this event are Hart High School and Golden Valley High School.
Officials hope to extend the program to more Santa Clarita Valley schools in the future, Goldman said.
“I’m grateful that the schools are open and willing to let us do outreach,” she said. “It gives kids strength and empowers them to make decisions on their own and keep them safe.”