After finishing working with Project YESS at NYU Rory Meyers for 11 weeks and presenting my findings to my peers and teachers, I am now in the process of finalizing my senior project with BASIS Independent Brooklyn.
While working off-site, I was able to improve my independent research skills as a student during my time conducting a series of extensive literature reviews on the topic of sexual health among young minorities. Learning about the proper journals to search through while also learning how to properly interpret advanced empirical literature and data. I also was able to gain a new perspective on working in a youth-based study. Project staff and I had to tailor our recruitment and data collection process to this population to engage them and keep them interested considering their relatively short attention span. We had to make sure the financial incentive for joining Project YESS as a participant was substantial enough for them. Many studies showed financial compensation to be one of the primary incentives for willingness to participate in a youth-based study. Therefore, establishing the proper financial incentive was crucial in order to keep the participants interested in contributing to Project YESS with their insights on sexual health and romantic relationships. We also spent some time constructing social media pages for Project YESS in order to keep in contact with youth since that is their main mode of contact, this is something that many studies generally don’t do.
Lastly, I learned about the time needed to invest in a scientific study like this. The time that it took to create the Phase 2 survey alone was a lot. Each member of project staff and I had to take the extensive survey at least 5 times to ensure there were no errors in the coding, spelling or grammar which was an extremely tedious task for all of us. It was also during this time that I began to appreciate the colleagues I had at Project YESS to help me with this mind-numbing process, the Phase 2 survey definitely wouldn’t be at the stage it is today without the team I had around me.
Overall, my time working at Project YESS for my senior project was extremely eventful and informative, I have gained the experience needed to prepare myself for college as a student of the sciences and beyond. Although I am ending my senior project with Project YESS, I look forward to working with them once again over the summer and in college!