But it took a whole village
I told the youth leaders during my dissemination that I could keep doing this research where I observe and facilitate community based youth outreach. The research and these activities have informed my practice as an educator and improved how I approach entrepreneurship and STEM problem solving and experiential learning. It turns out that the leaders can use these skills in internships, advanced courses and even college opportunities. And I was able to leverage a program I love into years of graduate coursework at Northeastern University and an action research plan and dissertation.
We have worked with other communities, written grants and reflected with our alumni on how to improve our youth leadership and community outreach. We have had many adventures over the years, and I have learned a lot from these women.
However, the hardest part for me with this ongoing work was the writing. In fact, in April, during Spring Break, I thought for sure I might not finish this dissertation. Yet, my community stepped in to help. I had colleagues, administrators and friends encouraging me through this process. Other family members and friends checked in often to make sure I was okay. Graduate student colleagues also provided tips and assistance. It really did take a village to get me through this hurdle and I am forever grateful.
Finally, I did record the Dissemination where I included my participants who were also collaborators in this work. It was the most awesome way to culminate this work finishing with the people who really made this research as rich as it is. Thank you all.
Thanks for your support!