This study presents a perspective on the barriers encountered by children residing in a low-income rural community in Portal, Georgia. The purpose of this needs assessment (NA) is to identify educational challenges that youth in the community face. A sequential mixed method design was used. Intercept surveys were conducted followed by individual key informant interviews and a focus group with youth. Survey data were entered into SPSS, and descriptive statistics were calculated. Audio recordings of the interviews were transcribed and uploaded into NVivo for content analysis. Overall, the results indicated a need for strategies to address low levels of parental involvement and stronger infrastructure that better meets the needs of the youth, which can be done by engaging stakeholders in identifying and mobilizing community-based assets such as a strong community commitment to education, thus creating local economic opportunities.
“The Willow Hill Community Education Assessment: Assessing the Education Needs of Children in a Former Slave Community” was recently published in the Journal of African American Studies.
Authors are Dr. Moya L. Alfonso, associate professor, Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu Collage of Public Health (JPHCOPH), Dr. Gayle Jackson and Dr. Alvin Jackson, Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center, Inc. Portal, Georgia, Dr. Akrati Gupta, Ms. Shannon Antoine-Hardy, and Ms. Maria I. Olivas students of JPHCOPH.