International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

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


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

David Bell

Second Reader

Laurie Ross


The concept of youth work as a profession is slowly gaining legitimacy in the United States and features varying approaches. In order to maintain the growth of the field, youth worker training programs must be examined through the lens of a theoretical framework to better understand best practices and ways in which the youth are impacted by the services. I have chosen to use the case of the non-profit organization, City Year to highlight ways in which young leaders from varying backgrounds are introduced to the field of youth work. Through this study I have found that City Year is an innovative way to combine national service with youth work and allow firsthand experience to train potential professional youth workers. Youth serving organizations, such as City Year, are directly impacting the lives of young people and need to be examined as the field continues to become professionalized.



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