Research and Evaluation Digest: Webinar Now Available, Research Grantee Highlight, Environmental Stewardship Brief and more


Research and Evaluation Digest

Feb. 1, 2022

Syracuse Near Westside Neighborhood Teen Research Team

Transforming Their Lives and Neighborhood: Syracuse’s Near Westside Teen Research Team

Involving teenagers as integral members of a participatory research team in Syracuse’s Near Westside Neighborhood changed lives, perceptions, and ways of understanding issues.

The team was formed in early 2019 as a collaborative process between SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the Syracuse Peacemaking Project, funded by an AmeriCorps Community Conversations grant. It was the teens' choice to focus their research on the tough but timely questions around ‘how crime and violence affect the lives of people in the neighborhood,' a difficult topic for many adults. But in support of the teens, about 50 residents and service providers participated in focus groups using interviews, mapping, brainstorming, and storytelling. The posters and narrated presentation illustrating the team's findings captured the attention of community organizations and agencies, including the mayor’s office, which committed to engaging youth voices and ideas.

Although COVID-19 slowed the process and outcomes, the teen research project spurred the creation of the Peacemaking Center’s Youth Impact Team in summer 2021. This group is also learning leadership, engagement, and placemaking skills to create safe places for gathering outdoors.

Learn More

Quote from Rebecca Frazier, PhD - Square 4Grantee Quotes Banner

Webinar Save the Date: 

Creating Successful Volunteering and National Service Opportunities: Best Practices and Benefits

Thursday, Feb. 10, at 2-3:30 p.m. ET

“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Join AmeriCorps’ Office of Research and Evaluation to hear recipients of the 2017 AmeriCorps National Service and Civic Engagement Research Grant discuss their research on:

  • How AmeriCorps and nonprofit organizations can create opportunities for people of all backgrounds to serve
  • Ways we can invest in volunteer and member management to benefit volunteers, organizations, and communities
  • How benefits of service transfer to other spheres of public life

The lessons learned can be applied to any nonprofit organization and national service program interested in strengthening their volunteer management practices and how to contribute to long-term benefits for those who serve.   


Mark Hager, Ph.D., will discuss lessons for volunteer administration from two AmeriCorps-funded projects: the Volunteer Management Capacity Study and the Technology Evolution in Volunteer Administration Study (Volunteer Alive).

Matt Flege, Ph.D., M.S., will share his research findings on how AmeriCorps programs can recruit and support diverse members and prepare them for success after their year of service (Joining AmeriCorps).

Sign Up

Evidence Brief: Effective AmeriCorps-Funded Environmental Stewardship Programs

AmeriCorps members and volunteers serve together with local communities to address pressing challenges. AmeriCorps has funded environmental stewardship programs and interventions that produced positive results using independent, rigorous impact studies, and systematic evidence review.  

In December 2021, AmeriCorps Research and Evaluation highlights the impact of AmeriCorps-funded environmental stewardship programs and interventions in the Evidence Brief: Effective AmeriCorps-Funded Environmental Stewardship Programs. The December 2021 brief explores the impact of AmeriCorps environmental interventions in varied ecosystems and environmental settings.

Read the Report

Webinar Recording:

Latinx Civic Engagement: Building, Connecting, and Expanding

In December, AmeriCorps Research and Evaluation hosted a webinar on understanding the importance of civic engagement for Latinx communities and describing how research can support increased engagement and overall outcomes for Latinx communities. Suzanne Pritzker, Ph.D., and her team from the University of Houston, guided by Youth Expert co-researchers, discussed barriers to engagement among Latinx youth, sharing research insights on effectively reducing Latinx youth engagement barriers. Marisol Clark-Ibáñez, Ph.D., and her team from California State University San Marcos discussed the findings of their culturally-validating approach to civic engagement among low-income, Spanish-speaking adults and families, with insights and resources to replicate the pedagogical approach in other Latinx communities.

Watch The Webinar

Visit our impact webinar page to access webinar resources from the University of Houston and California State University San Marcos.

View Webinar Resources

What's New on the Evidence Exchange