Supporting the Empowerment of Youth and Communities
During the summer of 2019, I received training at the American Political Science Association's Institute for Civically Engaged Research (ICER) at Tufts University. This training supports my broad scholarly agenda of connecting political science research and communities to promote public well-being. Through public engagement, I intend to catalyze discipline-wide discussions on how political science research can make positive contributions to society while collaborating with community organizations and public actors. I have presented my research to the United States Agency for International Development and the Arab Reform Initiative.
Early College Program
I currently collaborate with a community partnership in Lawrence Township, MA, in an early college program that aims to give high-achieving high-school students in traditionally underrepresented communities a chance to receive extra support in preparing for college. These students take my Politics of the U.S. course at Merrimack College. The goal is to develop these students into young adults who possess the tools and the enthusiasm for civic engagement while gaining the academic skills necessary to succeed in college. The research that will arise from this partnership will aid any actors who work on projects related to fostering student success at the collegiate level and promoting civic activism, especially among a diverse student body. The graphic video to the right was created during a state-wide workshop I co-led on teaching and working in an early college program.
Youth Voice is a civically engaged research project in partnership with the Merrimack Valley YMCA in Lawrence, MA. Along with two colleagues and four Merrimack undergraduate research assistants, I co-developed and facilitated a civic engagement program for youth in Lawerence. We assess the outcomes of this program and analyze the best strategies for promoting the empowerment of youth, especially among diverse populations. This program was graciously funded by the Greater Lawrence Summer Fund and the President's Civic and Community Engagement Initiative Office at Merrimack College.