Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR)

Youth-led Participatory Action Research is a powerful process that empowers youth to learn and apply research techniques, in order to discover solutions to issues related to education.

The goal of this project is that CYC youth and staff members become experts in YPAR as integrated youth-led strategies to maximize our impact on the lives of young people in foster care and ultimately transform the child welfare and education systems.

CYC is working with Levana Saxon, who develops strategic methodology, curriculum, training and research projects. She and her team (including youth who may be interested) will facilitate a series of in-person and virtual meetings to train on YPAR methodology, research skills, tool development, data gathering, and analysis. The whole process is a mash-up of collaborating, learning, and exercises infused with art, poetry, music, photography and participatory theatre.

The YPAR Project Team will:

  • Understand the dynamics of YPAR.
  • Identify personal and shared connections on educational issues that exist for youth in care.
  • Define for themselves what is known about these issues.
  • Identify what additional information is needed to understand the issues better.
  • Determine the tools, methods, and approach youth will utilize to collect information.
  • Use this information for understanding, education, strategic action, and community change.

This opportunity is perfect for CYC youth members who have a knack for research and data collection. But youth do not need any experience to join, in fact, that’s the whole point. We only ask that youth be committed throughout the entire project, which is scheduled to last March through October 2020. There will be weekly virtual meetings as well as in person gatherings.

The benefit for youth members:

  • Youth who commit to the YPAR Project Team, will receive a stipend for their participation.
  • Youth will gain a wide range of experience to use on applications.
  • Youth participants will lead CYC’s future strategies in implementing policy change.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Janel at, janel@calyouthconn.org or Marissa at, mmiller@calyouthconn.org.