Publication Date

2012

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

John Ungerleider

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of being part of the First Generation community on the youth members. The context of Springfield, Massachusetts and the culture of First Generation are explained. The role of The Performance Project, the nonprofit through which First Generation operates, is also described, as it pertains to the context. A literature review, with other youth programs’ methodologies and findings of analyzing impacts in their programs, has been included.

Following months of work with First Generation and the literature research, qualitative interviews were crafted and conducted with members of the group. These anonymous interviews allow some insight into the impact of the program in their lives. The group members reflected on what being a part of First Generation means to them, their social connections, how they view themselves, how they communicate, and what could work better for them.

Overall, these interviews showed a high level of gain for the young people involved in First Generation, namely with regards to acceptance, family, and the creation of a safe space. In the course of the interviews, almost all interviewees realized something about themselves in relation to their growth through the program, indicating a need for periodic, in-depth reflection opportunities to become part of youth program evaluations.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social Psychology and Interaction