Marginalized youth participation in a civic engagement and leadership program: Photovoice and focus group empowerment activity

J Community Psychol. 2023 May;51(4):1756-1769. doi: 10.1002/jcop.22959. Epub 2022 Nov 15.


To evaluate marginalized youth participation in a civic engagement and leadership program accompanied by a photovoice activity. This study employed an exploratory qualitative method through semistructured focus group discussions among 11 participating teens, as well as 63 photographs from the photovoice activity and their accompanied narratives. The data was coded, and themes related to teens concerns and workshop impact were summarized. Focus group and photovoice analyses showed similar themes related to the experience of participants empowerment, identity recognition, community awareness, and desire for civic engagement. Participants conveyed concerns about gender and race discrimination, community drug abuse, littering, teen pregnancy, and overcrowded schools. This study has implications for professionals and researchers engaging with marginalized teens in the community. Photovoice methodology can complement any program that has teen empowerment among their goals of allowing participants to have a voice.

Keywords: empowerment; evaluation; marginalized youth; photovoice; social engagement.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Photography
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Schools