Respect is a trans-disciplinary multimedia project focused on the impact of bullying and other stressors on young students, made as a collaboration between Play 4 Change, DePaul University students and faculty, and students at elementary schools in Englewood. It is an ongoing endeavor supported by DePaul students and faculty from the Video Game Development and Digital Cinema disciplines, as well as a research team from DePaul University Health Sciences.
Respect, through the creation of biographical videos and simple narrative games, allows Englewood students to artistically give voice to their own circumstances and problems while also raising the awareness of bullying – and its impact on emotional, mental, and physical health – as a critical social issue.
In this project I was the lead mediator between the schools and team members. Being a part of a much larger mentorship directed by the Health Sciences research team, the goal was to figure out ways to reduce high school dropout rates and increase college attendance of underserved students in poor neighborhoods such as Englewood. By making games, we aim to do something that captivates students’ interests, but also gives them a real-life means to think through and talk about scenarios in which they felt respected or disrespected and how they dealt with it. As the mediator, I facilitated group activities, lead collaborative projects with the students, and gave insight on how we can motivate students to seek larger goals in life.