Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Member

Wendy Burke, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Sylvia Jones, PhD

Committee Member

Nancy Copeland, PhD

Committee Member

Yvette Colón, PhD


This dissertation study aims to illuminate the creation of safe spaces for marginalized youth through mentorship initiatives. Likewise, the study examines the roles of mentorship programs in transforming the lives of Black adolescent girls by providing them with tools to change the narratives depicted by society. A qualitative design was employed that used phenomenological interviewing techniques and ethnographic observations to explore the experiences of the Black adolescent girls in one university-sponsored mentorship program. The findings illustrate what is coined through this research—a critical Black feminist mentorship model that emphasizes an intersectional identity development, the actualization of voice, the creation and preservation of sisterhood and solidarity, and consciousness raising. The results, implications, and future research possibilities are discussed.

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