Ja’Chelle Ball is a research assistant in the child welfare program area. Ja’Chelle graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in sociology. Her research interests include racial and gender identity, identity development, and youth development. She is particularly interested in how youth of color’s interactions with the legal and welfare system contribute to their identity development, perceptions of social institutions, and overall life outcomes. Overall, she aims to conduct community-based research that focuses on shifting the social contexts and institutional responses to youth, especially those of marginalized backgrounds, to become more equitable, racially just, and gender informed.
During her time as an undergraduate, Ja’Chelle participated in multiple summer research apprenticeship and training programs including the Quality Undergraduate Education and Scholarly Training (QUEST) program, conducting independent research studies analyzing factors such as justice-system contact among young Black girls and its association with self-efficacy and sense of school belonging. Additionally, she served as the president of Georgetown University’s Women of Color organization. In this role she ensured the establishment and sustainment of community, comfort, visibility, and acknowledgement of women of color on campus. Ja’Chelle conducted her senior honors thesis on how interactions with law enforcement contribute to the racial gendered identity development of young Black women.