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Knowledge into Action in a Latinx Neighborhood

Kathy Marie Bussert-Webb, María Elena De La O


What are academic obstacles for Mexican-heritage youth? How can we be critical change agents and turn knowledge into action? This longitudinal study explores these research questions through epistemological, axiological, and ontological discussions. Data gathering occurred at an after-school tutorial agency in a Texas neighborhood near Mexico. The 461 co-researchers were 238 children, 91 parents, and 4 tutorial staff (all Latinx), and 128 mostly-Latinx teacher candidates (TCs). Data sources involved field notes, questionnaires, written reflections, interviews, focus groups, children’s drawings, a news station’s Promesa depictions, and Census data. From a social justice framework and grounded theory data analysis, these themes emerged: outsiders’ stereotypes of Promesa and academic obstacles. In response, we created a Promesa college scholarship and organized financial aid presentations to improve residents’ college graduation rate. Additionally, we launched a technology mentoring program involving TCs and Promesa children as part of community service-learning.


social justice; service-learning; college graduation; change agent; Latinx

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Partnerships is sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact, and hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ISSN: 1944-1061
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