Manijeh is a doctoral student in Positive Developmental Psychology and Evaluation at Claremont Graduate University. Her program of research focuses on positive youth development and issues of social justice, with specific interest in the role of community programs in empowering marginalized youth. She has worked as an applied research and evaluation associate at YDEval for two years, serving as project manager for the multi-site evaluation of LAUSD’s Beyond the Bell (BTB) afterschool sports in collaboration with The LA84 Foundation. During this multi-year project, she led a team of evaluation consultants in conducting observations of sports program implementation quality, produced quantitative and qualitative reports on program performance, and worked with BTB staff to develop and implement strategic, research-based actions for program improvement. Ms. Mahmoodzadeh has additional experience evaluating a variety of youth development programs, including a civic engagement program (Big Citizen HUB), a mindfulness-based stress reduction program (Youth Empowerment Seminar), and girls’ empowerment program (Girls Learn International). Prior to starting school at Claremont Graduate University, Manijeh worked directly with youth at a summer leadership institute (Iranian Alliances Across Borders) for six years and consider my experience as a practitioner integral to my perspective as an evaluator.
Manijeh began working at YD Eval because of the passion and commitment to youth thriving that defines the YD Eval community. She has always thought of young people as whole and valuable members of society, whose experiences need to be documented in order for society to best serve them. Manijeh is most interested in working with programs focused on youth empowerment and social action, and with clients who seek to highlight youth agency in the evaluation process by working together with young people to conduct research that impacts their lives.