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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Darby, Kate J.
Myers, Gene (O. Gene)
Grant, Riley, 1981-
In partnership with RE Sources for Sustainable Communities based in Bellingham, Washington, this action research project led to the creation, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s first youth-led organizing committee called Youth for Environment and People (YEP!). RE Sources for Sustainable Communities is an environmental education nonprofit located in Bellingham, Washington, whose mission is to, “promote sustainable communities and protect the health of northwestern Washington’s people and ecosystems through the application of science, education, advocacy and action” (RE Sources Website, 2017). Using Positive Youth Development (PYD) theory, we* implemented YEP! with the goal of increasing the teen participants’ political self-efficacy. To ensure the intended outcomes of the program would be met, I designed the program to incorporate the characteristics common to youth organizing programs which I found through a literature review and interviews with program coordinators. In order to create a program which was locally relevant and responsive, I conducted interviews with community members who have experience working with young people in the area. During the implementation, I collected qualitative data through focus groups and participant observation to determine if taking part in this committee led to increased political self-efficacy amongst the participants. This paper discusses some of the best practices of organizations supporting youth action as well as how participating in this youth-led initiative impacted the participants’ political self-efficacy. Finally, other important findings regarding the experiences of the YEP! members emerged from the data such as the value of collective efficacy.
Western Washington University
Washington (State)--Whatcom County
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Arbab, Sahar, "Learning Through Action in Whatcom County, Washington: Developing and Assessing the Impact of Youth for Environment and People (YEP!)" (2018). WWU Graduate School Collection. 693.