I currently work as a writer for Ci3, the University of Chicago’s Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health. Before the advent of my current full-time position, however, I served as a youth instructor for multiple summer workshops held by Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab.
Game Changer Chicago develops digital and analog games that address critical issues that impact the well being of youth, including sexuality, health, social justice, and youth development. Its games are not only aimed at a youth audience, but also co-produced by youth, via workshops in which participants (predominately, African American and Latino youth attending Chicago Public Schools on the South Side) play and design games to develop skills and health behaviors.
In 2012, I served as a graduate student designer and mentor for an early GCC summer workshop, which ultimately lead to the development of GCC’s card game InFection Four. Since 2015, GCC’s summer workshops have taken the form of the Hexacago Health Academy summer program. I served as a game design facilitator for the 2016 session of the Hexacago Health Academy, co-teaching lessons on game design and overseeing the development of three board games designed to educate urban youth on the health and social impacts of drug abuse. The games produced during this program are currently being assessed for further improvement and eventual commercial distribution.