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McNair Scholar 2015Gaozouapa Vue

Gaozouapa Vue is a senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She is majoring in youth studies in the School of Social Work. Ms. Vue will continue with higher education and pursue a master’s in development practice with a concentration in women’s studies. Ms. Vue hopes to have an experiential education abroad with the Humanity in Action and Princeton in Asia.

Gaozouapa Vue photo
I want to continue to pursue higher education in the youth development field and understand the profound globalization issues in a diverse world where many may not be able to comprehend the complexities. I want to be a leader in international affairs for women representation in public policy.

Research project

Livelihood Complexities in Kenya from a Youth Orphan’s Perspective

Abstract: Kenyan youth, especially the young people with orphan status, encounter challenges in their communities, including low socioeconomic status and educational attainment. In this study, we examine the lived experience and complexities orphaned youth in Kenya cope in and the choices, strategies and philosophies Kenyan youth orphans practice to manage such experience and complexities. Results from interviews of youth in the Communities and Progress – Youth Empowerment Institute (CAP –YEI) program indicates that the livelihoods of the youth orphans may be more complex than can be fully addressed in the program. However, there is hope because the youth orphans can manage their own money by saving, discover tools for strategic choices in their community and create a community of networks with peers and professionals in the program for success in their future. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Christopher Johnstone is the Director of International Initiatives and Relations at the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development. He has led the college in its internationalization efforts for seven years. His research focuses on inclusive education and internationalization of higher education. Johnstone has worked in over 30 countries and is a first-time McNair faculty mentor.

Nancy Pellowski Wiger is the Project Director for the Learn, Earn, and Save Initiative in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development. For the past four years, she has been co-directing an evaluation to assess the overall impact of three non-formal and formal education initiatives on youth from marginalized backgrounds in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Her research focuses on international development education, social capital, and gender. Her past scholarly work has included working with CARE to investigate girls’ and boys’ empowerment and education efforts in eight developing countries and examining adolescent girls’ leadership in Honduras using CARE’s Girls Leadership Index (GLI) survey. She is a first-time McNair co-mentor.