Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ryland White


Empowering adolescent girls is an effective and sustainable way to break the cycle of poverty and initiate a process of worldwide change. It is also extremely challenging, given the traditional perceptions of adolescents as reckless, carefree, incapable of assuming responsibility and unaware of their own needs for success and positive development. While organizations can provide many of the resources that adolescent girls need, the lack of parental support can be detrimental to both the overall development of the adolescent girl, her access to services, her mobility in society and the choices she will have in her future.

In order to create a space for parental support of their adolescent daughters as part of youth empowerment programs, I designed a three-part parent training program for The Mariposa DR Foundation and implemented the first training in January 2011. This program drew on existing studies of parent training and education, and followed an assets-based approach through the curriculum. The following capstone paper details the pre-planning, design and delivery of the first training and includes an analysis of observations and feedback from participants. The conceptual framework grounds this training in theories of adult learning, experiential learning and adapting trainings for different cultures, while the literature review provides a guide to understanding the conceptual definitions of adolescence and empowerment as they exist today, as well as an analysis of different models of adult involvement in youth programs. I end this paper by reflecting on my experiences and growth as a trainer, and integrate this with an evolving understanding of multiculturalism and social justice as it related to my training work.


Civic and Community Engagement | Family, Life Course, and Society | Social Work