International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Practitioner Report

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Cynthia Caron


gender, adolescence, youth, girlhood, Peace Corps, RPCV, development


They say the Peace Corps is the toughest job you’ll ever love. In July of 2017, I began my service as a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer in Costa Rica. Nearly six years later, as I prepare to graduate with my master’s degree in International Development at Clark University, I reflect upon those Peace Corps years of service and the many lessons learned while living in community, implementing youth projects, and, specifically, working with adolescent girls. My interest in studying international development and, particularly, deepening my knowledge of gender and development is directly connected to the Peace Corps. Therefore, it only seems appropriate to incorporate my Peace Corps service into this cumulative thought project- a MA Practitioner Paper- which seeks to analyze development paradigms and strategies concerning youth and adolescent girls. My analysis references primary materials distributed during my Peace Corps service, Costa Rican documents from the Ministry of Education, and my own firsthand experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I also draw from my academic training at Clark University and a review of academic literature to further explore how development, its assumptions and programmatic interventions shape the narratives of adolescent girls and young women in the Global South. I conclude by incorporating autonomy and consent as two important themes which affect girls.





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