October 19, 2020
Research into Practice Webinar Series: Part 1 with Dr. Shannon M. Varga
Part 1: Understanding and leveraging webs of support during youth transitions across educational and career pathways with Dr. Shannon M. Varga.
This first webinar from the series, Research into Practice (Fall 2020), was co-hosted by the Canadian Centre for Mentoring Research and featured Shannon M. Varga as guest speaker. It introduced a webs of support framework for understanding the dynamic ecology of relationships in a young person’s life. It showed how webs of support are implicated in the educational and career pathways of youth and how this framework can be converted into specific actions to support youth during life transitions. Data from multiple relationship-focused applied research projects, including narrative interviews with youth and their mapped webs of support, which were referenced to discuss how systems, structures, and attitudes have acted as barriers or facilitators to developing supportive relationships towards their goals. The session focused particularly on youth at heightened risk for interruptions in their education or work.
Shannon M. Varga, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor in the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development at Boston University and is Associate Director of Research and Evaluation for the CERES Institute for Children and Youth. Professor Varga’s research has the goal of optimizing programs, policies, and practices that take a relational approach to promoting the healthy development of young people. In her work with America’s Promise Alliance, she has studied the role of social capital, networks, and social support in workforce development and re-engagement initiatives with risk immersed and emergent bilingual youth.