Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

John Ungerleider


Current girls’ development research in the United States shows that female adolescents are experiencing an increase in depression rates, eating disorders, and lower self-esteem. Many feminists believe the societal culture in which girls are growing up in is hazardous, with the acceptance and perpetuation of oversexualization, objectification, and stereotyping by all different types of media. The following capstone research takes a case study real world flexible design approach at the high school leadership program at Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW), a nonprofit in Waterville, Maine that works to create a world where women and girls feel equality, independence and safety. Both quantitative and qualitative data is gathered from adult alumni from the Girls Advisory Board (GAB).

Results find that in the areas of volunteer/community service, leadership roles, agency vision, and stronger voice/sense of self, that an overwhelming majority of alumni feel that these developmental assets were met and increased during and after their term(s) with GAB. Academic performance did not increase in the majority. Safety tools and earlier volunteering roles are areas that alumni feel the program could improve upon.


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality


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