YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University senior Megan Evans recently teamed with the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation to find out how low-income people are affected by home ownership.
Evans is a triple major in linguistics, English and sociology, the field she was recognized in.
At the annual Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology Conference, the Boardman High School graduate won top honors for her report, “The Assessment of Home Ownership on the Lives of Low-Income Individuals.” The report received the Best Undergraduate Research Award.
She explained the results of her nationally recognized research.
“We’re still in the process of analyzing all the data but what we did is we went to YNDC and we looked at the two different programs they have going on,” Evans said.
One program offers affordable home ownership to low-income individuals in Youngstown. The other is HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved housing and financial counseling.
“We wanted to see if that counseling, in and of itself, before the home ownership, affected the aspirations and expectations of the low-income individuals of Youngstown,” she said. “And also how home ownership, once they already had that chance to own their homes, how that in turn affected their aspirations and expectations.”
Because these programs are still fairly new to YNDC, Evans said they didn’t have a large sample size, only 27 people participated.
“As a result of that, we didn’t get statistically significant data but we did find with the data we do have that both the homeowners as well as the counseling participants did have relatively high aspirations. So, it was very encouraging,” she said.
Evans is excited about receiving top honors at the national convention.
“It was actually the second year in a row that I received the award, so it was exciting to be able to get recognition for some of the work I’m doing on Youngstown, essentially with sociology,” she said.
Evans said it’s only the beginning of the project and that she plans to continue her research.
“We are still analyzing the results and so we’re going to try and get a publishable paper out of it. One great thing that has already happened is that YNDC, because they’re able to say that there are researchers looking at their program, they’re able to get more funding for their HUD approved housing counseling,”
At YSU, Evans is a member of the Honors College, president of the Honors Trustees and co-founder of the Poverty Awareness in Youngstown Initiative.