This project will unite youth across diverse cultures to tell their stories & stories of their communities. Students will be exposed to the range of applications which make cross-cultural exchange possible, such as google+, Twitter, YouTube, & Voxer. Students will be exposed to technologies that will enable them to document their experiences, i.e. Podcasts, Prezi, & PowerPoint. Youth will share their stories through new media.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Chisinau and Buffalo
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
This project will bridge youth from two seemingly disparate regions of the world, Buffalo, New York & Chisinau, Moldova. Students will be recruited through partnerships with local school districts. At first glance, it may seem that these regions would share very little in common. However, they are united by many common problems; Buffalo has a high poverty rate, and Moldova is the poorest country in Europe.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Youth will be encouraged to collaborate across their cultures; to share their stories through a variety of media, including but not limited to PowerPoint or Prezi presentations, paintings, photos and poems. They will be encouraged and supported in the use of a variety of media; reporting first on their local communities, and over time reflecting on the experience of being part of the project, friendships, and successes.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
Project directors each have provided services to youth in schools and in their communities. Project directors first came together in 2012 to develop a cross-cultural collaboration among their university students. The composition of the class included students not only from the United States and Moldova, but also a student from Canada. Cross-cultural exchange is used here as a mechanism for building the social capital among youth.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
Initially, a total of thirty students will be recruited; 15 from each country.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Project Directors hope to build on initial success, leveraging funding for building a larger participatory action research project for promoting community change, and connecting youth from around the globe. Once our project is established, directors can apply for research funds through the University at Buffalo Civic Engagement Fund.