Publication Date

Winter 2-10-2014

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Aqeel Tirmizi

Abstract

PeaceJam is a yearlong educational program for youth ranging from age 5 to 25 with a mission of creating the next generation of ‘Change Agents.’ Its curriculum focuses on the model of “Education, Inspiration and Action” with the intention of providing youth a comprehensive understanding of the complex problems of today and what is needed for them to gain the skills, knowledge and commitment to create positive change in themselves, their community, and the world in the future. Through previous research, the program has demonstrated success in achieving its short term and intermediate outcomes in the youth participants. However, no systematic research has been done to examine the long-term impacts of PeaceJam’s programs. As such, this research focuses on how these youth participants in PeaceJam carry new ways of thinking and behaving into their adult lives. Specifically, this research will study the life choices of alumni of the PeaceJam program, in order to measures the impact at a personal, local and global level.

The methods of inquiry were surveys and interviews of alumni participants of the PeaceJam Ambassador program. Fifty surveys were collected and ten interviews were conducted. The results showed that PeaceJam is making positive impacts not just for the youth participants who are involved, but also communities they interact with. These individuals create positive change in the world by choosing careers that matter to them and make an impact at multiple levels of society. They also show understanding and compassion for the diversity in this world.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Family, Life Course, and Society | Peace and Conflict Studies | Politics and Social Change | Service Learning