The selection process also considered research that is developed and implemented in collaboration with a field-based partner (e.g., a school, youth development program, youth serving agency) and/or included a multidisciplinary team that represents an innovative approach to given topic. We selected four proposals for funding, each of which represents a partnership between researchers and a youth-focused community organization and which have promise for contributing to both questions of practice and generalized knowledge in youth development.
“Roots and Wings: Promoting Positive Youth Development and Educational Equity in Charlottesville Middle Schools through Integrated Music Programming”
PIs: Emily Morrison, Jessika Bottiani
The Front Porch is a non-profit roots music school located in downtown Charlottesville whose mission is to make music inclusive, affordable, and accessible to all. Their Roots and Wings program currently delivers songwriting, composition, deep listening, and storytelling components to middle school youth through school-based group workshops and individual lessons. With Youth-Nex seed funding, these components will be introduced into classroom-based English, math, and science instruction through a set of six music arts-integrated academic lesson plans at Community Public Charter School (CPCS). The overarching purpose of this translational research project is to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and sustainability of music arts-integrated core subject instruction as a strategy for promoting positive youth development and educational equity for middle school youth in Charlottesville.
“Engaging Conflict-affected Youth in Thailand’s Deep South for the Promotion of Peace and Wellbeing”
PI: Amanda Nguyen
Youth in Thailand’s Deep South have grown up in the midst of a protracted armed conflict that has resulted in a highly militarized and economically depressed environment. While limited data suggests this environment has had serious impacts on the health and wellbeing of these youth, very little is actually known about their strengths and needs. With Youth-Nex seed funding, UVA researchers are partnering with colleagues at the Faculty of Nursing, Prince of Songkla University, to conduct a needs assessment involving participatory research with Buddhist and Muslim Thai youth aged 12 to 18. Our aim is to better understand the context, aspirations, and assets of youth to build a robust follow-on study involving program design and evaluation. In particular, this needs assessment will inform what type of intervention may be suitable to promote wellbeing in Thai youth, and engage youth in peace making processes to interrupt the intergenerational transmission of violence.
“The Voice Project: Facilitating Youth Voice & Critical Social Analysis Among Black Boys in their Transition to High School”
PIs: Chauncey Smith, Daniel Fairley
The goal of this study is to examine the school and community experiences of Black boys in Charlottesville. Researchers will do this by: (1) centering Black boys’ meaning-making of their experiences in Charlottesville, (2) facilitating their drafts of solutions for their school and community, (3) observing the ways in which schools and community programs interact with Black boys. The study involves interviews with middle school Black boys, a youth participatory action research program, and interviews with community program facilitators. The aim is to: 1) highlight the diversity and describe shared patterns in narratives about Black boys’ school and community experiences, 2) describe some helpful practices for facilitating youth programs for Black boys, and 3) center Black boys’ voices in the translation of research to practice.
“Evaluating the Impact of Youth-Police Dialogues on Police: A Seed Funding Proposal for Survey Development”
PIs: Rachel Wahl, Jessika Bottiani
This project will lead to the development of a new survey measure to assess police officers’ attitudes and behaviors towards youth of color, which will be used to investigate officers’ responses to police-youth dialogue. This measure will be developed in close partnership with the Center for Teen Empowerment, a nonprofit organization that empowers youth-led social change. Teen Empowerment currently facilitates dialogue between youth and police and the measure developed will support their capacity to assess and build their work as well as lay the groundwork for a larger study of how police and youth respond to dialogue.
The Center for Race and Public Education in the South (CRES)
Youth-Nex partnered with the new center to co-sponsor talks and a writing retreat. In addition to co-sponsoring events, Dr. Deutsch and CRES Director Dr. Alridge have been actively collaborating to consider potential joint projects that would draw on the complementary strengths of the two centers and foster some of our shared goals towards scholarship that promotes equity.
Presidential Precinct's Global Leadership Forum on Promoting Gender Equality in Education
Youth-Nex participated in the three-day 2017 Global Leadership Forum which convened 30 emerging leaders from over two dozen countries; students and faculty from the University of Virginia; and other scholars and experts. “Promoting Gender Equality in Education” encouraged participants to develop innovative ideas and effective solutions to ensure that women and girls around the world have access to quality educational opportunities that would prepare them for lifelong success. Youth-Nex affiliated faculty and graduate students were also involved with helping plan and lead portions of the event.