Youth Policy Lab welcomes Spelman and Morehouse students to 2024 ASPIRE Summer Program

May 24, 2024

Summer 2024 brings another exceptional cohort of undergraduate students from Spelman College and Morehouse College to the ​​University of Michigan’s Applied Social Policy Internship and Research Experience (ASPIRE). Launched in 2023, the eight-week summer program, run by the Youth Policy Lab (YPL) at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Institute for Social Research, helps rising juniors and seniors develop quantitative social science research skills and a greater understanding about what it would be like to pursue a career in public policy research.

“We are so excited to welcome another cohort of students from Spelman College this summer and are thrilled to expand the program to Morehouse College as well,” said Robin Jacob, faculty co-director and founder of the Youth Policy Lab. “This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our relationship with these outstanding colleges.”

The cohort includes Spelman students Angel Lindner, Chaelee Farquharson, Corinne Salter, and Morgan Chambers, and Morehouse students Jeremiah Lowther and Khalil Bucknor. Each student brings a unique perspective and desire to gain hands-on experience in applied quantitative social science research.

“I aspire to be a resource and advocate for youth and underrepresented communities,” said Angel Lindner, incoming ASPIRE participant and rising senior majoring in Psychology at Spelman College. “[I want] to use my voice to address societal inequalities through my passion for mental health advocacy and research.”

Students will explore one of YPL’s core policy areas—early childhood education, maternal and infant health, adolescent mental health, career technical education, or workforce development—and complete a guided project with support from U-M faculty and staff. By the end of the program, they will understand the applied questions social scientists investigate, the research methods used, and how research influences policy, enhances service delivery, and ultimately, improves lives.

“We look forward to building off of the success of the first year of the program,” said Carrie Hammerman, director of strategic partnerships at the Youth Policy Lab. “This intensive program enables a small cohort of students to have both one-on-one and group opportunities to build research skills, engage with practitioners and academics in the policy sector, and delve into data analysis projects based on their interests.”

About the Youth Policy Lab (YPL)

Situated jointly between the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research, YPL employs a team of experienced staff and faculty and engages with experts from across the University of Michigan. YPL partners with public-sector stakeholders to produce actionable insights that help ensure all children thrive, especially those experiencing adverse outcomes due to systemic social and economic barriers.