Come and Become: Investigating How Youth Development is Facilitated at the Fusion Youth Activity and Technology Centre
This thesis investigated youth development in the context of an afterschool program in Ingersoll, Ontario. In particular, this mixed methods study examined the developmental assets of youth members at Fusion and discovered how the staff and Fusion as an organization foster youth development. Positive Youth Development theory, the Developmental Assets Framework, the Developmental Relationships Framework, and Capacity Development studies informed this research. The findings revealed that Fusion youth are likely to become healthy, contributing, caring, thriving, and productive adults. In addition, it was found that Fusion staff foster youth development primarily through the developmental relationships that they cultivate with youth. These relationships are formed and nurtured within an organizational culture that is empowering, caring, and respectful. This interaction between staff and organizational capacity to facilitate youth development is captured in a Framework called “Asset Building Capacity” presented in this thesis, which fills a gap in a literature on youth development.