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Davis United World College Scholars


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A Future in Positive Youth Development

“There’s no day that goes by without me thinking about the challenges my generation and younger are going to face, with climate change, increasing inequality, increasing migration,” says Andrew Nalani (Uganda, UWC-USA, Dartmouth ’16). “I ask myself, what is the role of education in empowering young people to meet the challenges of the 21st century?”

As he works toward a Ph.D. as a Steinhardt Fellow at NYU, Andrew is involved with the Listening Project, a program that is helping students and teachers at New York City middle schools “develop the kinds of relationships that are based on common humanity, rather than through a set of social stereotypes,” he says. He’s also part of SAFE (Systems Aligning for Equity) Spaces, which brings trainings in suicide prevention to staff at city youth detention centers.

Andrew founded the African Youth Leadership Experience, which in 2014 and 2017 brought young people together for a summer-camp program in his home country. In 2018 he joined the heads of state of France, Norway and Sierra Leone in speaking at a Goalkeepers event in New York, which focused on progress toward meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“My general field of interest is positive youth development,” Andrew says. “My dissertation is going to focus on the contribution of youth/adult partnerships — the way that young people and adults work together with shared power.

“I don’t know where I will make my home eventually. But I see my work being cross-cultural and international in nature.”