Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2008 Stephanie Lin Hsu. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Asian Studies Program, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Farha Ghannam


Adolescence is a distinct and separated life stage, socially constructed, and shrouded in a language of deficit. Therefore, positive approaches to youth development that value youth and work to cultivate skills and strengths within contextually-sensitive environment are important. The author examines the ways in which particular approaches utilized by community-based organizations—specifically the community youth development approach—are able to effectively meet the needs of minority youth, and of Asian American youth in particular. Methodology include interviews, literature analysis, and a case study of Chinatown Youth Initiative, based in New York City’s Chinatown, as a strong example of community youth programming that meets the contextually-specific needs of Asian American youth. Central questions include: What are the particular needs of Asian American youth? How does Chinatown Youth Initiatives’ as an organization serve these particular needs? In what ways is it effective? and What makes it effective?


Recipient of the Alice L. Crossley Prize in Asian Studies, awarded in 2008