Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

American Cultural Studies

Number of Pages



This study surveys the form, function and potential impact of Bates College service-learning endeavors on the college aspirations of community partners from Lewiston High School. Through interviews conducted with 13 (white) juniors and seniors, I discovered that service-learning in the Lewiston community does appear to impact the college aspirations of those community partners involved, but this impact is contingent upon service-learners utilizing a focus on personal engagement and college discussions. Furthermore, I found that in regards to the existing literature on college aspirations of youth growing up in low-income areas, service-learning in low-income communities, and town-gown relationships, Lewiston appears to be in many ways an anomaly. The fact that my participant pool demonstrated high aspirations, a firm belief in the American achievement ideology, a lack of manifestation of the binary in discussions of service-learning and a desire for strong personal relationships with their Bates service-learners suggests that Lewiston as a community is not producing students to adhere to the many expectations of them, based upon both social class and race.


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