Brandeis University

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FY 2018 Community Conversations Research

Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Brandeis University's Center for Youth and Communities (CYC) and Waltham Partnership for Youth's Waltham Youth and Community Coalition (WYACC), are proposing a four-phased approach to a participatory action research project that will use an asset-based frame to identify effective approaches to supporting youth mental health and decreasing substance abuse among Waltham youth. It is designed as a youth participatory action research project, and the project structure attends to the development of youth as researchers, leaders, and philanthropists who can use data to support positive change in Waltham. The four phases are: 1) training and supporting a cohort of Waltham high school students in becoming community-based researchers; 2) supporting the link between research and action through youth civic leadership; 3) supporting the link between research and action through youth philanthropy; 4) using research and action to strengthen community. The primary focus of the research is to uncover the local conditions, root causes, and environmental factors that underlie the numbers around youth mental health and substance abuse and what supports, structures, and systems (formal and informal) can be leveraged or created to support youth health.

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