Polk County Teen Maze 2016

Chief Deputy Jonathan Blackmon explains what happens during car wrecks to students in a simulated scene. 

Kevin Myrick

Every decision in life has consequences, good and bad. Sometimes those choices can lead to horrible outcomes, such as a life being cut short by a drunk driver.

The hope of volunteers from a variety of professions is that their experience with awful mistakes can help Polk County's younger generation be sure to avoid what others have done before them.

Healthy choices is the mission of Polk County's annual Teen Maze, and around 100 volunteers are expected to take part in a dramatic walkthrough of what local teens face when they turn down a wrong path.

"We're expecting about 400 ninth graders to take part this year," Polk Family Connections Executive Director Rhonda Heuer said. "It is one of the biggest events each year at the Polk-Haralson Christian Life Center, and we hope it will help answer questions and save lives."

Today and Thursday, students will be taking part in a dramatic recreation of stories based on real life, where tragedy unfolds in the form of teens killed in a wreck, another rushed to the hospital with family members screaming in pain at their loved one's injury in the background.

Bringing some additional dramatics to the two-day event is Cedartown High School's drama department, who Heuer said is going to re-create a party-like atmosphere where youth are faced with difficult choices, like being offered drugs and alcohol.

"We're trying to make it a little more interesting each year," Heuer said.

She added that it is her high hope that students will listen when the volunteers provide information, since the nurses, police officers, EMTs and many more taking part are the ones who see the consequences of bad decisions each and every day.

Officials from Georgia Northwestern Technical College and the Department of Labor will also be on hand to provide additional encouragement for students to finish their education and get good jobs when they finish high school or college.

"Students have no idea at this age how much better off their futures are when they have a job," she said.

The Nov. 8 and 9 event is being held throughout the day for students.

Those seeking more information about how they can help in the future can visit polkteenmaze.com.