Center for Youth and Communities

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From the Director

CurnanwStudentsIt is a great privilege and a great adventure to serve as Director of this university-based, community focused enterprise and I invite you to explore and discover the people, projects and mission that make it so.

The mission driven work of the Center – preparing youth for education, work and life – has stayed relevant over the past 35+ years as the broad field of youth and community development grew from an “emerging field” to a “maturing profession.”  Along the way, we have shaped policy and practice during six White House Administrations.  With deep roots and a legacy of evaluation research and capacity building projects in youth employment, education, service learning, college access, citizen leadership and community youth development, the Center is well positioned to address the next generation of challenges – and they are great. 

So, if you are a potential client scanning our website, dive into our archives and explore our people and projects to evaluate our qualifications and track record.  If you are a student or applicant to one of our degree programs, check out our teaching faculty and staff. If you are curious about how I came to this great place and why I do what I do, take a look at my article in the Brandeis Magazine titled "The View from Val-Kill: Walking in Eleanor Roosevelt’s scholarly footsteps."


"The Center for Youth and Communities: Making Knowledge Productive for 35+ Years"

CYC Staff Photo
CYC Staff (Clockwise from top left): Susie Flug-Silva, Alan Melchior, Sangeeta Tyagi, Susan P. Curnan, Della M. Hughes, Matthew Hoover, Cathy Burack, Kyle Richard, Angesom Teklu, Zora Haque, Lanni Isenberg, Tammy Tai
SUSAN P. CURNAN celebrated as "scholar-practitioner," named first Florence G. Heller Associate Professor of the Practice Chair
DELLA M. HUGHES leads CYC work on Youth Employability in Nashville:  "Building a Job Market for Nashville Youth"

Read all about 10 Years of the Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program
10-Year Report: The Impact of Together
CYC is Evaluation & Learning Partner for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The Center is partnering with Heller colleagues at the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative. For more on Center partners, see our Partners and Funders page.

Created in partnership with the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy:

Summer Youth Employment

STEM Program for Girls

Youth Homelessness

Youth Civic Engagement

Child Hunger Alleviation

Briefs on Employing Youth with Disabilities and Trauma Histories

Research briefs from Center for Youth and Communities:

Employment for Youth with Disabilities: Past Challenges and Future Opportunities by Marji Erickson Warfield, Susan P. Curnan, Susan Lanspery, Della M. Hughes


Employment for Youth with Trauma Histories: Lessons from Research and Experience by Lisa A. LaCava, Susan Lanspery, Susan P. Curnan, Della M. Hughes

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