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Empowering College Students through Community Engagement: Experimental Evidence from Peru

Marcos Agurto, Sandra Buzinsky, Fernando Fernandez and Javier Torres
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Marcos Agurto: Universidad de Piura
Sandra Buzinsky: Universidad de Piura
Javier Torres: Universidad del Pacífico

No 2020-07, Working Papers from Lima School of Economics

Abstract: We exploit a randomized control trial involving 131 fellows of a higher education scholarship program, who study at the same university. Half of the students were randomly assigned to a youth community engagement initiative and acted as academic ambassadors in the diffusion of an electronic wallet in their local communities. They received training on leadership, teamwork and financial literacy. Also, their role as agents of change in their communities was constantly emphasized. They later delivered training and information sessions about the new electronic wallet to members of their local communities. Treated female students show positive effects regarding attitudes of empowerment, self-efficacy, motivation, and community engagement. On average, treated female students report being more appreciated by their community members, have a stronger sense of commitment towards their community, and report higher levels of self-efficacy. They also experience improved academic performance, measured in GPA and academic credits successfully completed. We do not find the same effects for treated male students.

Keywords: Youth Empowerment; College Academic Performance; Community Engagement; Beca 18; Peru (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H52 I25 I28 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-ure
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