Collaborating to Serve Latino Youth in Southwest Detroit

Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation Art Installation

  • Rubén Martinez
  • Director, Julian Samora Research Institute

"DHDC does phenomenal work with at-risk youth, particularly in the areas of cultural identity and coping with trauma. Enhancing their purpose in life through career interests could motivate youth to continue their education in their occupation areas of interest."

Rubén Martinez
Director, Julian Samora Research Institute

MSU's Julian Samora Research Institute (JSRI) generates, disseminates, and applies knowledge to serve the needs of Latino communities in the Midwest and across the nation.

The Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC), in Southwest Detroit, provides innovative and culturally-appropriate services and life-changing opportunities to youth and their families. Their programs for at-risk Latino youth offer mentoring, methods for coping with trauma, and pathways to education, leading to increased confidence and a better quality of life.

The DHDC and JSRI collaborate on community-based, participatory research projects and programs designed to facilitate positive development and quality of life for Latino youth in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Recently, they collaborated on a study that looks at issues of meaning and purpose in the lives of Latino youth, who are often faced with challenging and even traumatic lived experiences.

Enhancing Purpose-in-Life Among At-Risk Latino Adolescents (EARL)

Project EARL aims to contribute to the work of DHDC by assessing the levels of purpose-in-life among a sample of DHDC program participants. It explores the utility of using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Career Report to help youth understand themselves better, begin to explore their occupational interests, and enhance their levels of purpose-in-life.

Project EARL serves as a pilot project to generate preliminary data for the development of a larger research proposal focused on enhancing purpose-in-life among at-risk Latino adolescents through use of the MBTI Career Report. The project utilizes questionnaires, pre/post-test administrations, MBTI interpretations, and data analysis. The results from EARL will be shared with DHDC staff to discuss their utility and possible utilization with the youth they serve through their respective programs.

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