teens work together to learn about achieving goals
a environment using characteristics of a hero
inside a virtual reality program.
Seven teen girls
from Northwest Children’s Home – Syringa
House in Nampa took the chance to meet that challenge.
For several weeks these teens have been learning
how to create a virtual reality environment that
helps them face their fears in life. The project
also is a chance to work together to create something
they will remember for a lifetime.
teens are Naya, Crystal, Auriel, Amber, Heather,
Jeanne and Jamie, and they have had nothing close
to a "normal" life. These girls are all 16 or
17. They have experienced things that have knocked
down their self-worth. These teens have experienced
things like drug addiction, violence, sexual abuse
and abusive relationships.
All they wanted
was respect and a fair chance at life. When challenged
to meet the goal of finishing the virtual reality
program by relying only on each other, they not
only met it, they conquered it.
Each teen was
given certain responsibilities, and then they
had to work together to build the environment.
Responsibilities included building the objects
through computer graphics, finding sound effects
for the different virtual encounters and organizing
photos and drawings for their environments. The
project is designed to build an environment that
is drug-free and shows the characteristics of
a hero. The teens used characteristics such as
perseverance, courage, wisdom and love. The experience
taught the girls accountability for their actions
and the concept of teamwork.
is the founder and owner of VR Quest, the company
that worked with the girls on the project. Black
has given his time, money and facilities to help
these girls find a better aspect of life and to
teach them about choices.
Black said he
was proud that "these girls followed through with
The teens learned
a variety of lessons from the project. Some lessons
were how to work with computer graphics, how to
navigate the Internet and how to shape sound to
fit an environment.
"I learned that
I don’t have to be afraid of my fears because
I can overcome them if I truly put my mind to
it," Heather said.
Naya said she
learned to have "patience," and Auriel said, "
I learned not to give up on myself and that I
can work for what I want."
the best part of the project was "watching our
object being built."
to design an obstacle that represents my fear
and finding ways to overcome them was the best
part." Heather said.
The public is
invited to view not only this project, but many
more at www.vrquest.net.
Press Tribune, Section C, Monday, June 5, 2000