Dr. Lauren Graham is a development sociologist with a Doctorate in Sociology from UJ. Her research interests are in the application and testing of social and development theories in practice with a focus on youth, children and people with disabilities and their agency in assessing in impacting on human development outcomes. She has strong expertise in evaluation research and is skilled in the use of both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. She is particularly interested in the use of research methods that take account of the voices of vulnerable groups. Lauren manages a range of research initiatives related to youth including our flagship project- the Siyakha Youth Assets project – which seeks to develop knowledge and interventions to support young people to transition to employment. She also supervises posts graduate students and mentors younger researchers. Every time she has an article published Lauren has a moment of pride but she says ‘achieving my PhD and securing a Newton Advanced Fellowship earlier this year, are some of my proudest moments academically’.