Dr. Maranda C. Ward is a community educator, curriculum developer, and youth builder. Her participatory action research explores how urban youth serving as peer educators in an arts-based program actively construct their identities. Dr. Ward's research is currently being translated into practice at Promising Futures, a youth development pipeline (for ages 11-24) that integrates a social justice approach to positive youth development and uses hip hop presentations to communicate HIV prevention messages. She is also a certified trainer for three Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence-based interventions: Focus on Youth + ImPACT, VOICES/VOCES, and Project AIM.
Dr. Ward earned her Doctorate in Education from The George Washington University (GW). She has been a member of the GW Risk & Resilience Workgroup, expanding research on positive youth development through aesthetic peer education models. She recently wrote a curriculum based on the Social Change Model of Leadership for undergraduate GW business school students to implement a citywide social entrepreneurship venture with D.C. youth. Dr. Ward also contributed to a CDC-funded research study that examined the protective role of social capital to reduce HIV risk among adolescents in Ghana. She enjoys learning from youth, traveling, and brunch.