• Black youth identity development: using the Black Lives Matter movement as a wake-up call for improved cultural attunement for non-black human service workers

      Rodriguez, Tiana (2021-05)
      When considering youth development, it is essential to differentiate between non-Black youth and Black youth. Black youth may be struggling in other departments with family, addictions, homelessness, etc. but it is also essential to keep in mind that they are also Black which instantly puts targets on their back literally and figuratively due to institutionalized racism and the white supremacy so deeply rooted in our society. This is why using a human rights framework is significant to understanding and aiding Black youth development. Human service workers are historically human rights advocates, so this is a part of the work that they do.
    • Dream catchers

      LaSita, Emily (2020-05)
      Laurel is a fifteen-year-old who has grown up in foster-care, moving from home to home. She considers herself to be fairly normal, aside from the small fact that she keeps having dreams of dead people she doesn’t know, asking for their dying wishes. When her caseworker, Gina, brings Laurel to her new rich foster-family, where she must attend a new school with privileged kids, she begins to uncover the mysteries of their lives as well as her own. Some things aren’t as they seem and what might happen to her new friends, the memory of her “clients” and Gina if these secrets are exposed?
    • Living Strange, a novel

      Giese, Allison (2018-05)
      Living Strange is about a young webcomic artist, Aaron Bateson, as he survives a suicide attempt and must begin the arduous process of recovery. However, a muddled and strained family situation, along with the fact that he’s begun to see his dead ex-boyfriend’s ghost, is making it even harder. Living Strange is a story about healing and reclamation. Structurally speaking, it’s a coming-of-age story, filled with phantoms of the past. Mental illness, specifically chronic depression and anxiety, feature prominently in the story and how they color the voice of the protagonist. Additionally, persona narration and free indirect style are used to show how Aaron’s mental illnesses affect his consciousness and how he tells his story. Parallels are drawn between the protagonist and the late Dmitri through specific and controlled encounters, as Dmitri was never able to seek help for his depression. At its heart, this novel is a character study about how we heal when things go wrong, and when we’re at our rawest and most vulnerable.
    • Understanding the housing experiences of trans* and non-binary college students

      Montmarquet, Honor (2021-05)
      While it is well known that the United States has a problem with high rates of homelessness and housing insecurity, the specific housing experiences of transgender college students is an under-explored topic. Existing studies suggest that a significant subset of youth experience housing insecurity during their years as college students; research also indicates that LGBTQ and specifically trans* youth experience disproportionately high rates of homelessness and housing insecurity. As such, it is important to capture the stories of those who fall into both of these categories. This interview-based study with trans* college students, including students who have experienced housing insecurity and homelessness during college, begins to fill the gap in our knowledge about this population. This research begins to shine light on the particular housing experiences of trans* college students with a goal of shaping policy that might better serve the needs to this population.