Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type

Professional Paper

Faculty Mentor

Devin Carpenter


social science, youth loneliness, art therapy, writing workshop, global leadership

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Creative Writing | Educational Methods | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences


It is no secret young adults, no matter where in the world they come from, face social pressures with the potential to be isolating. For today’s youth, not only are they feeling the commonplace anxieties about fitting in, finding success, and uncertainty of the future, but these anxieties are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Young adults from all over the globe report feeling more anxious, more depressed, and more lonely. However, it is also no secret that deliberate community building, creation of art and writing as a means of self-exploration, and participation in spaces designed for acceptance fend off these feelings of loneliness. So, to these ends, the question guiding our research is as follows: How might we acknowledge social pressures on young adults and create a brave space to build community through self expression? Our team discovered that a creative writing and artistic workshop has the potential to create both a radically open space in which young adults can come together, as well as the opportunity for self-reflection via writing and/or creating art. We will discuss the content of the four workshops we have facilitated with local youth and the results of their work will be published in a zine. In the course of our work, we found Brave Spaces, the theory of ‘thirding,’and active community support to be powerful forces to fight against youth loneliness, manifested in a series of workshops designed to operationalize those concepts.

Honors College Research Project


GLI Capstone Project




© Copyright 2023 Taylor Curry, Mariah Thomas, and Riese Munoz