Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Albert Nylander

Relational Format



This thesis examined civic participation and community engagement strategies by the University of Mississippi to fight poverty through education in Mississippi. In 2014 the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement started an innovative approach to fight poverty through education in Mississippi. The center began a Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) program to establish community-university partnerships for university students to engage in communities beyond campus. I served in the program as a CEED scholar from 2015-2017. In this thesis I explored the state of an afterschool program to determine its success, and to evaluate the community engagement strategy to fight poverty through education in a predominantly African American community. For two years the CEED program provided training in entrepreneurship education, civic responsibility, and local participation in community engagement activities, especially youth development training. Through personal interviews, secondary survey data, and an internship experience, findings indicate that community engagement strategies are effective. I will share my story working at the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwood, MS, as one effective approach. The McLean Institute CEED students have implemented numerous projects mutually with community partners throughout Mississippi and in the Delta region. We have engaged in real world problems, following a curriculum that showed the relationship between theory and practice. These mutually beneficial partnerships have enhanced the social capital and civic participation of all involved.

Included in

Sociology Commons



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