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A Theory of Change: How the Mind, the Heart, and the Future can be Shaped Through Creative Expression

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The goal of this thesis was to create a theory of change for an annual Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) that offers youth with trauma histories opportunities to cultivate protective factors associated with resilience. MAC is designed to promote four primary

The goal of this thesis was to create a theory of change for an annual Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) that offers youth with trauma histories opportunities to cultivate protective factors associated with resilience. MAC is designed to promote four primary protective outcomes among its participants: (1) safety, (2) self-expression, (3) skill-building and (4) self-efficacy through exploration of various multicultural art forms and connecting with caring adults. The theory of change was informed by my observations during my experience as a MAC volunteer and my review of academic literature to better define and understand how various factors involved in the MAC program are linked to resilience processes. Arts programming can provide opportunities for youth who have experienced trauma to feel safe enough to engage in self-expression and build corresponding skills that promote feelings of self-efficacy. Building these protective factors thereby strengthens children’s capacity for resilience. Accordingly, the theory of change articulates program activities and processes that promote these outcomes among participating youth. Program directors may draw on the theory of change for strategic planning and evaluation efforts assessing the program’s processes and corresponding impact.

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2020-05

Youth Mental Health Video Series

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This mental health video series features three animated videos about anxiety disorders, resources and treatment options, and the stigma surrounding mental illness for youth ages 16-25, parents, and educators. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder in

This mental health video series features three animated videos about anxiety disorders, resources and treatment options, and the stigma surrounding mental illness for youth ages 16-25, parents, and educators. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder in the United States, so it is imperative that all people understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment options in order to best assist and support those in need of services.

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2021-05

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Does Mentorship Lead to a Secure Life?

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Does a consistent mentor help a youth transition into a secure and independent adult life? To answer this, I have used a grounded theory methodology to research elements of the foster care system. Through academic research, I audited the landscape

Does a consistent mentor help a youth transition into a secure and independent adult life? To answer this, I have used a grounded theory methodology to research elements of the foster care system. Through academic research, I audited the landscape of mentoring within foster care and then helped in the designing of a framework for a foster youth mentoring service could look like and have researched the areas in which a mentor can benefit a youth. I have listened to and recorded the stories of three college students with lived foster care experience so that I could learn from those who have firsthand experience. After using these methods, the findings showed that a consistent mentor figure is a key factor in the transition into a secure and independent adult life.

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2021-05