Teens in the Somali Diaspora: An Evaluative Program Study

Jennifer A. Skuza

Abstract


Program evaluation is a critical part of program sustainability because evaluation can inform improvements and document impact. Here, 2 Minnesota organizations came together in partnership with the Somali American community to work toward a shared vision, which was to develop a new sustainable program that prepared refugee and immigrant youth for their educational and workforce futures while supporting their cultural way of being. This article shares the evaluative study of this program, which reached teens in the Somali diaspora living in Minnesota. The program team had a long-term interest in developing an evidence-based model to suit this special population; this evaluation study was viewed as a step toward becoming evidence-based. The Somali American community supported the study because they valued the program and saw its cultural relevance. The evaluation used pre- and post-program surveys to capture program impacts in 2 outcome areas: workforce preparation and higher education preparation. Results showed that youth participants made gains in their perceptions of both outcome areas. However, gains displayed were unrelated to program attendance. Limitations and recommendations for future evaluation plans are provided.


Keywords


youth development; refugee; immigrant; evaluation; sustainability

Full Text:

PDF

References


Almond, K. & Nazaryan, A. (2016, May). Somalis finding their place in Minnesota: A look at the day-to-day lives of people in Minnesota’s Somali community, the largest in the United States. CNN U.S. Edition. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/02/us/somali-minnesota-photos/

Arnold, M. (2018). From context to outcomes: A thriving model for 4-H Youth Development programs. Journal of Human Science and Extension, 32(1), 141-160. Retrieved from https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/c8fe6e_755e5c14ab3f4d03ac84b3250597f613.pdf

Berns McGown, R. (1999). Muslims in the diaspora: The Somali communities of London and Toronto. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Bigelow, M. (2009) Somali adolescents' negotiation of religious and racial bias in and out of school. Theory Into Practice, 47(1), 27-34. doi:10.1080/00405840701764706

Cameron, L. A. (2010). The Minnesota immigrant experience. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved from http://collections.mnhs.org/mnhistorymagazine/articles/62/v62i03p096-106.pdf

Fields, J., Dupuis, D. Halloran, C. & Chamberlain, R. (2018). 2017-2018 CYFAR Evaluation Report. Minneapolis: Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota.

Mahoney, J. L., Larson, R. W., Eccles, J. S., & Lord, H. (2005). Organized activities as development context for children and adolescents. In J. L. Mahoney, R. W. Larson, & J. S. Eccles (Eds.), Organized activities as contexts of development: Extracurricular activities, after-school and community programs (pp. 3-22). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Minnesota Historical Society. (2010). Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of recent immigrants and refugees. Retrieved from http://education.mnhs.org/immigration/communities/somali

Minnesota State Demographic Center. (2018). Immigration & language. Retrieved from https://mn.gov/admin/demography/data-by-topic/immigration-language/

Shah, S. (2006). Leading multiethnic schools: A new understanding of Muslim youth identity. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 34, 215–237.

Skuza, J. (2005). Understanding the experiences of immigrant adolescents: Acculturation is not the same as assimilation. In P. Witt & L. Caldwell (Eds.), Recreation and youth development (pp. 384-405). State College, PA: Venture Publishing.

TAYO Consulting Group. (2016). Pathways to dignity: A human security approach to uplift Minnesota’s Somali youth. Retrieved from http://tayocg.com/resources/

Tzenis, J. (2018). Contradictions of belonging: The educational aspirations and agency of youth in the Somali diaspora (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest. (10829271)

The UN Refugee Agency USA (2018). The refugee brief. Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/refugees.html

Wilhide, A. February 27, 2018. Somali and Somali American experiences in Minnesota. MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved from http://www.mnopedia.org/somali-and-somali-american-experiences-minnesota

Yusuf, A. I. (2012). Somalis in Minnesota. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2019.703

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Jennifer A. Skuza

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.