Allyssa Allen


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



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As institutions begin to create opportunities for multiculturalism programming on and off campus, undergraduate students have the opportunity to become socially active leaders. Higher education institutions create spaces for students to develop their identities, redefine values and beliefs, and make mistakes. However, as there is an increase in generations enrolling with intersecting identities, they are becoming more prominent and complex to understand (Zuniga, Williams, & Berger, 2005).The purpose of this study is to understand the experiences of students who attend a predominantly white institution and participate in community engagement within urban neighborhoods. Using qualitative interviews with six participants of the Youth Economic Self-Sufficiency program at the University of Dayton, the study explored how human experiences can increase cultural understanding and if these interactions influence vocational goals. Themes emerging from the data are personal development and identity, self-awareness, the power of privilege, cultural understanding, and student’s openness to diversity.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project - Graduate

Primary Advisor

Savio D. Franco

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


Stander Symposium project, student affairs, School of Education and Health Sciences

Making a Difference: Experiences of Students who Participate in Community Engagement within Urban Neighborhoods