Sacramento Youth Leadership Initative
Racially and ethnically minoritzed youth are often underrepresented within STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related careers.
Working with Alliance Education Solutions and the City of Sacramento, my students and I are training youth researchers (high school students) in data collection to help identify barriers and strategies to increase city programming to support youth from diverse backgrounds in career development and exploration.
Lane County Community-Based Needs Assessment
LGBTQ youth are often underrepresented and underserved within community and school-based services. With the current national climate, it is now more important than ever for LGBTQ to receive affirming and enriching developmental programming.
Partnering with a local community-based organization (Transponder), my students and I are helping conduct a community-based needs assessment for LBTQ youth in Lane County, Oregon. This assessment will help inform future programs, services, and identity barriers for LGBTQ youth for accessing needed services.
College Food Insecurity
College students may experience systematic disadvantages in being able to access basic needs (i.e., food, housing) in the pursuit of higher education. Such disparities disproportionally impact students of color and parents, as well as LGBTQ, and/or first-generation students.
In an effort to address this inequity, I helped form the College Food Insecurity Committee, a student-led forum consisting of five universities in the Columbia area working together to combat food insecurity. Projects have included conducting needs assessments to guide food pantry services, and the employment of GIS mapping to document environmental racism surrounding the higher prevalence of minority-serving universities location within food deserts as compared to public universities.
Our research and efforts gained national attention as we were recently invited to provide testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules regarding food insecurity on college campuses.
Richland 2 School District Scholars Academy
YPAR disrupts the status quo within the field of youth studies by partnering with children and adolescents whom are often marginalized in academic scholarship, engendering them with epistemic agency to develop critical questions, methods, and analysis as well as disseminate findings that both name and address the social conditions impacting their lives.
Partnering with the Richland 2 School District Magnet Program, I have helped support Youth-Led Participatory Action Research Projects of three cohorts. Specifically, I provided lessons and consultation services to high school students in applying research as a tool for critical analysis, advocacy, and social action. Projects have focused on addressing pressing issues within the community such as gun violence, social media consumption, body image, race/cultural identities, disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, and organizing around the passing of a Hate Crime Bill in South Carolina.
Health & Youth Empowerment
I have a passion for supporting local non-profits by providing real time data through innovative evaluation methods to inform program development. This work is particularly important for supporting under-funded programs serving historically marginalized communities. I have provided program evaluation services to several youth-empowerment and mentoring programs. Currently, I am supporting the Health Young People Empowerment Project (HYPE).
HYPE is a curriculum-based civic youth engagement program that builds the skills of youth to become agents of change in their communities. The curriculum focuses on policy, system, and environmental change strategies as they relate to healthy eating and active living. Youth are encouraged to use the skills they learn to be lifelong champions of positive change. I am currently leading a program evaluation to support the program in identifying and measuring indicators of success surrounding young people's sociopolitical development.