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The examination of Latino youth education through ecological factors in north central Indiana

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Title:
The examination of Latino youth education through ecological factors in north central Indiana
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Arellanes, Jordan Alan ( author )
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English
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1 electronic file (96 pages) : ;

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Hispanic American students -- Education ( lcsh )
Hispanic American students -- Education -- Indiana ( lcsh )
Hispanic American students -- Education ( fast )
Indiana ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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The Latino population of north central Indiana has to overcome distinct obstacles unique to this area. Most of these families come from low socioeconomic status and come from a variety of homelands. This study looks at what factors are affecting the educational attainment of Latino youth whose families are recent immigrants to the United States. Previous research has looked at how to address the needs of the families and what affects the educational attainment of Latino youth in this area. This study looks at the strengths and difficulties that this population handles on a daily basis. Secondary data was used for the purposes of this thesis. For this study, 40 families consisting of 63 participants were interviewed after a three year ethnographic study. The sample also included 7 school liaisons. Qualitative data was analyzed by finding factors that were exhibited through this study. Results provide four common themes throughout the research. These themes are a way to see transcendent information across different aspects of society.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)- University of Colorado Denver.
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Includes bibliographic references,
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System requirements: Adobe Reader.
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jordan Alan Arellanes.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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925374707 ( OCLC )
ocn925374707
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LD1193.L645 2015m A73 ( lcc )

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Full Text
THE EXAMINATION OF LATINO YOUTH EDUCATION THROUGH
ECOLOGICAL FACTORS IN NORTH CENTRAL INDIANA
by
JORDAN ALAN ARELLANES
B.S. Colorado State University
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree
Masters of Arts
Educational Psychology
2015


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Jordan Alan Arellanes
has been approved for the
School of Education and Human Development
by
Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano, Chair
Patty Meek
Rene Galindo
Date 08/13/2015


Ill
Arellanes, Jordan Alan (M.A. Educational Psychology)
The Examination of Latino Youth Education Through Ecological Factors In North
Central Indiana
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano
ABSTRACT
The Latino population of north central Indiana has to overcome distinct obstacles unique
to this area. Most of these families come from low socioeconomic status and come from a
variety of homelands. This study looks at what factors are affecting the educational
attainment of Latino youth whose families are recent immigrants to the United States.
Previous research has looked at how to address the needs of the families and what affects
the educational attainment of Latino youth in this area. This study looks at the strengths
and difficulties that this population handles on a daily basis. Secondary data was used for
the purposes of this thesis. For this study, 40 families consisting of 63 participants were
interviewed after a three year ethnographic study. The sample also included 7 school
liaisons. Qualitative data was analyzed by finding factors that were exhibited through this
study. Results provide four common themes throughout the research. These themes are a
way to see transcendent information across different aspects of society.
This form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Ruben Viramontez Anguiano


IV
DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to all of those first generation college students who are trying to
better themselves through education. It is my goal that this thesis provides you hope and
motivation to accomplish all of your goals. I also dedicate this thesis to my family who
have provided for me since birth. I know that without them I would not be able to achieve
any of my goals.


V
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without His guidance, none
of this would be possible and all my efforts would be for not. In addition, I have been
blessed to work with many individuals who have had a direct impact on my life.
My family: I would like to thank my parents Jeff and Janiene Arellanes who have always
been there for me. My parents have been my constant source of love and support. They
have guided me through all of my goals and challenges. Without them, I would not have
accomplished any of my goals or ambitions. I would also like to thank my brother Adam
for his constant belief in me and for helping me make decisions on my future endeavors. I
want thank you Brad for continuing my hard work in college and making an impact on so
many lives. A huge thank you to the rest of my family I appreciate your support. I am so
blessed to have been surrounded by such loving and caring individuals.
Dr. Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano: Dr. Anguiano has not only acted as my thesis
chair but as the best mentor and friend any graduate student could ask for. He has
provided so much time and dedication toward my academic success. His actions have
been a model for the professor I hope to be one day.
My committee members: Thank you for your efforts as role models and the
opportunities you have provided for me. I know this is a lot of work and I am so gracious
for all you have done. Thank you all for pushing me past my limits and making me into
the student I am today. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you.
Dr. Sarah Harrison: Thank you for reviewing my thesis and editing this information.
Your efforts have gone above and beyond anything I could have asked for. You have
helped me so much over the last two years and I am so indebted for your assistance.
Dr. Barbara Seidel: Dr. Seidel's trust in my work has pushed me to new heights. I am
now directly prepared to continue this work and to make an impact on children and
adolescents through her efforts.
Dr. Jen Krafchick & Dr. Toni Zimmerman: Their work and passion has directed me
on my future career goals. Without their visions and dedication to working with
underserved youths, I may have never realized my true calling in life.
My Friends: Thank you Rock Adcock, Nate Cusack, Bri Flageolle, Megan Martinez,
Katie Pennell, Kramer Peter, Melody Rautenstaus, Zack Samar, and so many others.
Thank you all for supporting me on the hard days and celebrating the good. You all have
made this experience so wonderful and I cannot thank you enough for your friendship. To
my Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers Phi Phi Kappa Alpha and I appreciate the support.
The Lilly Endowment: Thank you for your support in funding the Latino Family
Research project through grant No. 2006 1434-000. Without this work, this thesis would
have never been realized and so many voices may have gone unheard.


VI
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION..........................................................1
Overview.........................................................1
Purpose of the Study.............................................3
Guiding Research Questions.......................................3
Significance of the Study........................................4
Definitions and Terms............................................4
Personal Identification of the Topic.............................5
II. LITERATURE REVIEW................................................... 10
Historical Impact within the Latino Culture Across the United States.10
Latino Education in the United States...........................13
Familismo and Education.........................................17
Historical Impact in North Central Indiana......................18
Theoretical Framework...........................................21
Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory...............22
Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of Needs...........................24
The Necessity to Aid Latino Youth in American Culture...........27
III. METHODS..............................................................30
Research Design.................................................30
Participants....................................................31
Families......................................................31
School Liaisons...............................................32
Role of the Researcher..........................................33


vii
Primary Researcher.................................................33
Secondary Researcher through the University of Colorado Denver....34
Interview Protocol....................................................35
Data Analysis.........................................................35
Procedures............................................................37
Original Study.....................................................37
Secondary Data Procedures-University of Colorado Denver............38
IV. FINDINGS...................................................................39
Thematic Findings.....................................................39
Theme 1: Educational Cultural Differences between the United States and
Participants Homelands............................................43
Theme 2: Adversity in Access to Educational Success................48
Theme 3: Policy, Practice and Perception...........................52
Theme 4: Cultural Desire to Better Ones Family....................56
V. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH...................................63
Limitations to this Study.............................................64
Strengths to this Study...............................................65
Interpretation of Results.............................................66
Theme 1: Educational Cultural Differences between the United States and
Participants Homelands............................................66
Theme 2: Adversity in Access to Educational Resources..............67
Theme 3: Public Policy and Perception..............................69
Theme 4: Cultural Desire to Better Ones Family....................70


Vlll
For Future Theoretical and Practice Based Research...............71
Implications and Conclusion......................................73
REFERENCES..............................................................75
APPENDIX................................................................82
A: University of Colorado Denver; Colorado Multiple Institutional Review
Board Approval...................................................82
B: Latino Family Interview Protocol..............................83
C: Latino Family Consent Form....................................85
D: Thesis Diagram................................................87


IX
LIST OF TABLES
Table
1. Table of Self-Reported Strengths within the Latino Community, In Chapter 3 and
referenced to in Chapter 4.................................................40
2. Table of Self-Reported Difficulties within the Latino Community, In Chapter 3
and referenced to in Chapter 4.............................................41


1
CHAPTERI
INTRODUCTION
Overview
In the United States, thousands of Latino children struggle to thrive academically.
Many of these students are primarily focused on physiological needs, such as having
enough food through the day, rather than focusing time and effort on academic
attainment. When the pressure to get through each day surmounts, it hinders the
development of academic and career goals. Approximately 70% of language minority
students come from low socioeconomic status (Samson & Lesaux, 2015). When students
are placed in underserved situations, school can become an afterthought. This leads
underserved students to develop low academic achievement goals (Rivera, 2014). Many
times, even when these students reach out for help, they cannot receive aid due to a lack
of understanding and associability.
When students are undocumented, this access can be even further diminished due
a lack of social connections based on fear of legal status (Perez, Espinoza, Ramos,
Coronado, Cortes, 2009). Latino students can hesitate to reach educational dreams such
as attending college because of a fear of financial costs as well as an unrealistic
perception of what college is and how to get there (Rivera, 2014). This lack of
understanding and policy is an issue within many different realms of education.
Administrators and teachers are often unaware of what resources are available or whom
can qualify for them.
Teachers report a lack of capability to teach students when language is an issue
(Samson & Lesaux, 2015). Samson and Lesaux (2015) also state that of these teachers,


2
many do not have adequate certification to work with this population. These teachers
only increase risk factors associated with students who do not speak English.
Undocumented students share similar educational risk factors, but also face constant
institutional and societal exclusion and rejection due to legal barriers (Passel, 2006). Even
when undocumented students are educationally high achieving, students have to actively
seek out educational opportunities (Rivera, 2014).
Many times, students do not have the time or access to educational resources
which would afford them the ability to seek out and further their education (Rivera 2014).
Studies show that students can lose motivation as access to education diminishes. When
there is a lack of educational goals, motivation to complete their schooling decreases
(Arbona & Jimenez 2014). School then becomes a chore rather than a means for success.
These students have higher rates of stress and lower perception of acceptance at college
(Arbona & Jimenez, 2014). This perception that college is unattainable diminishes
academic desires.
The impact of lower educational attainment can have long lasting effects. Rivera
(2014) stated that different factors such as positive peer interactions and environmental
resources have a significant result on academic attainment. Academic attainment is very
important on future success. Rivera (2014) also stated that with lower educational
attainment has a direct relationship with lower levels of future income. Research has
shown that academic attainment is impacted by language, immigration status, and access
to community programs (Samson & Lesaux, 2015). This research demonstrates that
improving academic attainment for Latino youth will have long lasting effects on future
career success.


3
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers that were affecting the
educational attainment of Latinos in north central Indiana. These barriers were identified
based on frequency thematic results. Specific barriers included: language, legal status,
political policy, lack of access to educational resources, and parental comfortablility
(level of parental comfort). Other cultural factors were identified, in particular, a call for
unity and dedication to bettering ones family to name a couple. These cultural factors
were combined with other strength factors to create an encompassing identity of the
Latino educational experience. Research conducted for this study focused on family and
school liaisons. This study focused on the perception of the educational system of family
and school liaisons. Participants families all had children who were currently in the
educational system of the United States of America. This study looked at participants
strengths and difficulties through a qualitative ethnographic method. This research
demonstrated the importance of exposing the experiences of underserved Latino youth in
the United States.
Guiding Research Questions
Guiding research questions for this study come from the Latino family research
project collected by Goshen College funded by the Lilly Endowment. Responses were
collected after a three year ethnographic research study. All procedures were used in
conjunction with Creswells (2003) qualitative methodology. This method captures
traditional perspectives and newer advocacy, participant, and self-reflexive perspectives
of qualitative research (Creswell, 2003). Variables were selected for their richness in


understanding the difficulties and strengths within the educational system for
undocumented Latino immigrants in north central Indiana.
4
1) How are cultural differences between Latino participants homelands and the
United States affecting the educational attainment of students?
2) Do participants with greater perception of the educational experience have higher
levels of educational attainment?
3) How are ecological factors including political policy and practices impacting
desire for Latino families to better their education?
Significance of the Study
This study specifically examines a population that is underrepresented in research.
The lack of research about this community puts a great significance on what knowledge
is available for this community (Perez, Espinoza, Ramos, Coronado, Cortes, 2009). This
topic is specifically relevant as immigration and population growth of the Latino
population continues in the United States. Due to the lack of resources and threat of legal
action, the number of undocumented immigrants is unknown. In 2005, there was an
estimated 1.8 million undocumented Latinos in the United States in 2005 (Passel, 2006).
As this population continues to grow, the significance of this research will expand
exponentially (Perez, et al., 2009). The eventual goal of this additional research and
awareness would be so that more Latino students will be given the opportunity to gain
higher levels of educational attainment.
Definitions and Terms
Educational attainment: The highest level of education completed.
Ethnography: Longitudinal study of customs and traditions of a specific population.


5
Familismo: The shared collectivist cultural belief of reciprocity, loyalty, and solidarity in
the family unit.
Latino a Chicano and Hispanic: For the purposes of this essay, the term Hispanic will be
used intermittently with Latino. This is not because these two cultures are the same, but
rather that educational statistics use the term Hispanic over Latino. The term Chicano was
also not readily used in previous research. For that reason, Chicano will not be used in
accordance with the data.
Underrepresented/at-risk: For the purposes of this study only underrepresented will be
used. At-risk was not chosen due to the negative connotation and broad spectrum of use
of this term. The only time this term is used is for work alongside Campus Corps as this
is the term they have chosen to use. Underrepresented refers to all individuals whom have
not received equivalent research or access to resources as a mainstream society.
Undocumented Immigrants: Individuals who have come to the United States without
proper documentation or who have stayed past their allotted legal residency.
Personal Identification of the Topic
To help develop a personal connection to this topic, it is important to understand
the history of the author of this essay. I (Jordan Arellanes) do not consider myself Latino,
but instead come from Hispanic ancestry. From my ancestry, I can sympathize and have
witnessed some of the hardships that Latino students have had to overcome. My fathers
side comes from the state of New Mexico where Spanish and Mexican families have
integrated for centuries. Unfortunately, poverty and low graduation rates are still
prevalent in this area. Specifically New Mexico has a 70% high school graduation rate
when the national average is 81% (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2015). This


6
makes New Mexico the third least academically successful territory in the United States
(only behind the District of Columbia and Oregon). My paternal ancestors primarily
spoke Spanish over English up until my fathers generation. My family fell victim to the
hardships that run rampant in New Mexico. A majority of my family were lower-middle
to lower class without much education. My mothers side is Anglo, but comes from a
long history of ranching in Nebraska and into southern Colorado. They too received very
little formal education. I am the first person in my family to receive a college education.
That being said, I will not be able to fully connect to the hardships that some
Latino youth go through on a daily basis. Due to my privileges in language, family
support, and the gift of having legal US citizen parents, I recognize I come from a
position of privilege and power. This privilege has granted me the access and opportunity
to work alongside this community. Having this privilege has allowed me to see just how
different my life could have been just by the situation I was bom into. It now becomes
my duty to do my best to help bring aid to all people and place them in a position of
privilege as well.
The main reason I advocate for the aid of Latino adolescents through educational
attainment is from first hand experiences with this population. I was an intern as well as a
mentor coach through Campus Corps: Therapeutic Mentoring of At-Risk Youth (Campus
Corps). This program is ran by Dr. Toni Zimmerman, Dr. Jen Krafchick, Dr. Lindsey
Weiler and Dr. Shelly Haddock in Fort Collins, Colorado. Campus Corps brings in at-risk
youth (as termed by their research) from the community and gives them the opportunity
to grow and learn from qualified college students. These students are selected after a
rigorous selection process, which demonstrates their passion and qualifications as a


7
mentor to work with at-risk youth. Once selected, mentors are paired with a mentee.
Mentees are children and adolescents aged 10-18, which have been sent through the
criminal justice system, referred by a school teacher/counselor, or are self-
referred/returning mentees.
To derive a better understanding of the effects that have occurred with these
youth, I have interviewed Dr. Jen Krafchick. Dr. Krafchick along with Dr. Zimmerman
and Dr. Haddock were the original creators of Campus Corps. These three professors at
Colorado State University were presented with a rare opportunity. There was need in the
community to develop a program to aid a growing population of at-risk youth (J.
Krafchick, personal communication, March 12, 2014). Campus Corps became the city of
Fort Collins solution to this problem. Initially, Dr. Krafchick (personal communication,
March 12, 2014) became astonished by the influx of support and compassion that was
given to the program. Research and community support was so great that within the first
year (2008-2009), the program had more than doubled in size. Campus Corps focused on
helping underserved children grow into healthy adults through a care free environment.
Evidence demonstrated that youth continue to show social and emotional development,
but also some students were even able to take on leadership roles within Campus Corps
(Weiler, Zimmerman, Haddock, & Krafchick, 2014).
To give an example of this leadership, one returning youth had been involved a
couple of semesters and had earned the trust and respect of the program. She volunteered
to give a presentation on bullying in the classroom. At the end of her presentation, she
asked how many of the students in the class had been a victim of bullying. Every student
in the class raised their hand. To bring this problem to the forefront of her school, she


8
passed out plain white t-shirts to the class. She then gave the students drawing materials
to create anti-bullying t-shirts to wear in school. The group of students who were
involved in this activity all wore their shirts to class on the following Monday. The
impact these shirts had in class is unknown, but the message was received very well
within Campus Corps. Having an at-risk youth conduct a presentation in front of peers on
the effects of bullying left an impact on the rest of the students, as there were very few to
no reports of bullying within the program the remainder of the semester. Examples like
this are becoming more and more common as the program continues to advance.
This then leaves the question of how does a mentor program such as Campus
Corps develop academic success? Rhodes (2005), states that more proactive and
sustained integration of research at all stages [of a mentoring program] will be pivotal for
developing more scientifically informed and effective programs and for ensuring that
such programs are disseminated with efficiency and high fidelity. I hypothesize that
promoting reward based material will be the most effective way of correcting this
problem.
This program relates to the current study because it demonstrates evidence that
members of an underserved community can change. This provides hope and a reason to
continue researching underserved youth. When students affiliated with gangs, drugs, and
other forms of delinquency have positive peers and role models, a world of possibilities
opens up for them (J. Krafchick personal communication, March 12, 2014). Dr.
Krafchick (personal communication, March 12, 2014) continued by stating how even
some of the hardest gangsters would go home over the weekend and want to play games
like hopscotch because of how much fun they had at Campus Corps. Campus Corps


9
provides evidence that when students are placed into the right situations, emotional and
social development will occur. Without programs and statistical evidence such as
Campus Corps, the educational goals of many underserved youths (similar to those in
north central Indiana) would remain unattainable.


10
CHAPTER II
LITERATURE REVIEW
Historical Impact within the Latino Culture Across the United States
The Latino population is the fasting growing minority group coming to the
United States (Armstrong & Rosbrook-Thompson, 2010). This population is expected to
grow to 55 million people with an estimated annual spending power of $170 billion
(Armstrong & Rosbrook-Thompson, 2010). According to the PEW Research Center
(2013), 76% of Hispanic respondents reported that immigration was either extremely
important or very important to them (the two highest categories). As of 2011, up to 40%
of Latinos living in the United States are foreign born (Rocha & Matsubayashi, 2012).
This leaves one in four Latinos living in the United States with an immigrant parent
(Tienda & Haskins, 2011). Because this population has such high numbers of
undocumented immigrants, political policy can have a great impact on their well-being.
Immigration reform is constantly being discussed within the United States. For
some people, illegal immigration presents a large cultural problem. Some traditional
Latino cultural identities do not fully fit into mainstream American society. This
difference in culture can lead to racial issues and discrimination of the Latino culture.
This divergence between mainstream Americans and underrepresented Latinos has
considerably impacted the job market. This ever-expanding group is looked at as
encroaching on traditional American beliefs and culture. For this reason, immigration is
prominently in the political history of both Latinos and within the last twenty years has
become a major political issue across all of America (Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones-
Correa, 2000). This political pressure is only increased by the lack of political resources


11
available to non-citizen Latinos. Normally, citizens can show their political
preferences/power and report their opinions to their senators. On the other hand,
politicians need votes to regain their elected positions.
This leaves more political power to those who can vote for a politician over
anyone who cannot. If a politician is forced to side between two different opinions, the
politician will follow the side that has more political power to re-elect their position.
With the lack of political power comes lack of representation of non-citizen Latinos,
especially when political issues are adverse to the traditional beliefs of Anglo Americans
(Rocha and Matsubayashi, 2012). This political tussle has been well-documented and will
continue to be an issue as long as immigration is a controversial topic.
The immigration of Latinos has a long history in the United States. Since the
mainstream Anglo culture reached_the shores of California, immigration of Latinos into
traditional European American culture has been an issue. At first, immigration into the
United States was welcome, especially for people of European descent. Originally,
people of Hispanic descent were expected to live in America as the United States had
purchased the west from Mexico (Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones-Correa, 2000).
European settlers were the original minority. As time went on, immigration became more
and more of an issue. Immigration of Latinos was somewhat masked until after the
1960s (Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones-Correa, 2000). In the 1960s, the Civil Rights
movement lead by African Americans shadowed immigration reform in America. The
Immigration and Naturalization Law was passed in 1965. According to Sierra, Carrillo,
DeSipio & Jones-Correa (2000), this law granted an influx of immigrants permanent
residency and isolated undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. This


12
created two main pillars in Latino culture, the US bom and the undocumented residents
in the United States (Rivas-Drake & Mooney, 2009).
By 1986, the growing number of illegal immigrants became a major public
concern. This led to the creation of the Immigration and Control Act. This act created the
opportunity for three million Latinos to become legal residents in the United States. More
importantly this political movement led to naturalization for these Latinos in the 1990s
(Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones-Correa, 2000). During this time, documented
immigrants began to convey cultural identities and instigated showing power at the ballot
boxes. Legal immigrant groups showed more political power and representation as the
numbers associated with this group increased. Undocumented immigrant populations did
not show this political representation (Rocha and Matsubayashi, 2012).
The struggles that began in 1986 created a growing number of naturalized citizens
which, in turn, developed the modern political issues between Latinos and mainstream
society. In 1996, the United States passed the Welfare Reform Act. This act limited
permanent residents from gathering welfare and limited housing by creating minimum
salary sponsorship requirements (Vega & Despradel, 1999). These requirements made it
so that U.S. citizens had to maintain a certain income to sponsor or aid in housing
transitional immigrating Latino families. Statistics from this act showed that up to 40% of
migrating Dominicans who came over to the United States before 1996 would not be able
to afford this transition any longer (Vega & Despradel, 1999).
Within the last ten years, immigration has specifically targeted the United
States/Mexico border. This targeting has resulted in higher security along the border and
in Border States. Border agents have increasingly been going on raids in the workplace to


13
find illegal immigrants (Thronson, 2008). These raids can separate a family, which has
created fear within the Latino culture (Becerra, Androff, Cimino, Wagaman, &
Blanchard, 2012). The fear of having a family member deported is a traumatic experience
which can have long lasting consequences. These effects can be especially damaging to
children of illegal immigrants (Becerra, et. al., 2012). Many of these children are still too
young to fully understand why their parents are targets of border control agents. Even
today a there is a struggle associated with the Latino culture and immigration. The issues
previously discussed have had a direct impact upon Latino youth in the United States
(Passel, 2006).
Latino Education in the United States
Due to the ecological status of discrimination that Latino families undergo, there
is need to aid this community throughout the lifespan. In this way, it becomes necessary
to look at the educational disadvantages Latino students undergo on a day-to-day basis. A
study conducted by Quirk, Nylund-Gibson, & Furlong (2013) showed that 67% of Latino
children were rated in the bottom three areas for school readiness. These children were
monitored in preschool through second grade for their growth and academic achievement.
From the sample, 28% of the Latino youth were evaluated as extremely low (the lowest
level of attainment) in their readiness to advance to elementary school (Quirk, Nylund-
Gibson, & Furlong, 2013). These low marks show that there is a critical need to support
children's academic attainment.
It is well documented that there is a high correlation between education and
economic success. Gilroy (2013) states that, in order to cope with the discrimination that
many Latino children go through, education can become secondary to aiding and helping


14
the family. The College Board states that other factors such as family income, parental
education, and language barriers can affect education attainment of disadvantaged
students (Gilroy, 2013). Previously, programs have been made to aid students of all
different nationalities to overcome these factors. Programs such as English as a Second
Language (ESL) have created avenues for these children to overcome some of the
difficulties in their lives.
English as a second language is a program directed by the United States federal
government as a way to provide access to education for students whose' primary language
is not English (Moses, Busetti-Frevert, & Pritchard, 2015). This program provides
students of many different languages a way to not only learn English, but to become
better accustomed to mainstream education. Many of these students have to face a steep
learning curve to reach the level of oral and writing skills that many mainstream students
have (Herring, 2014). This program has teachers work directly with students at individual
grade levels and implements equivalent levels of engagement and questioning as
mainstream students in both students' traditional language and in English (Moses,
Busetti-Frevert, & Pritchard, 2015). Though this program has been successful, there are
still current thematic and name changes occurring to ensure acceptance and optimal
success rates (Herring, 2014). The current study looks at a similar program with a slightly
different name English for New Learners (ENL). For the purposes of this study ENL and
ESL will be used intermittently based on the location and title of the program.
As the education system has implemented more programs such as ESL, it has
provided some Latino children with better opportunities for success. Previous research
has stated promotion of academic programs can mean that the overall well-being of


15
Hispanic students is improving, but not all studies found significant data supporting this
conclusion (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). This development is important from
an early age. If more schools start using programs such as ESL or ENL, young Latino
children have a better chance of future success. The prevalence of a good elementary
school education is related with high school and even college success. What has been
discovered is that the more acculturated a Latino family becomes, the more likely they
are to receive better education (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011).
In 2008 the United States fell into a recession. This recession had a profound
effect on a large majority of its population. Latino adolescents saw their unemployment
rates increase by 7 percentage points (Mellender, 2013). Though this recession created a
very difficult job market, it created an importance on education for eventual success. The
United States has developed to the point where if a person does not develop academic
success from an early age, it becomes very difficult to recover. Without more than a high
school diploma, the job market becomes very saturated and very few jobs become
available. A PEW Research Study, Washington DC, (2009) showed that 86% of Hispanic
adolescents believed that a college education was important for eventual success as
compared to 74% of the general public. This research could be construed to show that
education is more important to Hispanics than the general population. If this is true, it is
notably admirable for Hispanics to understand the importance of education. That being
said, Latino children are still highly likely to drop out of school. In 2012, 134,000
Hispanic children K-12 dropped out of school after being in school the previous year
(Mellender, 2013).


16
The amount of education that Latino students are receiving is on the rise. From
2000-2010 the amount of associate degrees that Latino students received more than
doubled from 51,500 to 112,000 (Gilroy, 2013). This good news has continued after 2010
as in 2013 the number of students earning their high school degree increased to 76.3%
(up from 72.8% in 2010). Latino students represent 16.2% of all students entering into
college. This makes them the highest represented minority group in American
universities (Gilroy, 2013). This good news isnt just limited to the high school and
college levels. Most of this progress can be attributed to the success starting at an early
age. Additionally, scores in elementary school are on the rise. In 2012, one in four
kindergartens was primarily composed of Hispanic students and elementary schools
continue to rise at the same rate (Gilroy, 2013). In fact, the only schooling that still
remains without evidence of growth is the increase to enter nursery school (Gilroy,
2013). It is still not fully understood why specifically these rates are not increasing within
a nursery school, but it is hypothesized that this is due to more of a collectivist approach
in early education for Latino culture as compared to the individualistic approach of many
Anglo children (Gilroy, 2013).
This growth could be explained by less isolation and greater cultural relevance
included in education. For example, soccer is a cultural identity for many Latino youths.
Messeri (2008) documented that soccer can be used as a tool to develop an area
economically and socially. Areas that used soccer showed greater educational attainment
and cultural involvement in school activities (Messeri, 2008) Implementing other
culturally relevant activities into the community could allow students and family
members to become more accustomed to education in the United States. It is


17
hypothesized that future research on this implementation of culturally relevant material is
needed to determine these effects.
Other cultural values such as familismo may have the same desired effect as
implementing soccer into the educational system. The current study demonstrates the
importance offamilismo on the culture and education of Latino students. The current
study also demonstrates that familismo has tremendous impact of the family unit of
Latinos. The practice of this family value is not to simply create social and economic
gain; instead culturally relevant information can be used as a tool for academic
motivation.
Familismo and Education
Familismo is a cultural mindset of a collectivist community with shared ideas of
reciprocity, loyalty, and solidarity of Latino family members (Chavez-Korell, Benson-
Florez, Rendon, & Farias, 2013). This ideal gives support to individuals who may or may
not be related to other individuals in the community by promoting loyalty and unity of
the family over individual needs (Aretakis, Ceballo, Suarez, and Camacho, 2015).
Individuals provide a support system in hopes of promoting growth by providing
emotional support. This mindset occurs due to the collectivist idea of willingness to
sacrifice for the well-being of the group (Chavez-Korell, Benson-Florez, Rendon, &
Farias, 2013).
There has been limited research on the direct impact offamilismo on education.
There have been studies that showed external factors associated with both strengths and
vulnerabilities have been acknowledged (Aretakis, Ceballo, Suarez, and Camacho, 2015).
These factors are also highly associated with positive educational development. This


18
could provide evidence that familismo could directly impact the education success of
Latino youth especially when it comes to social and identity development. Because
familismo is an important part of the cultural beliefs, it can be seen as a way to help
children and adolescents establish values, beliefs and adjust to different cultural
environments. These ideals can become important in establishing educational goals and a
support network which will foster academic growth.
Aganza, Godinez, Smith, Gonzalez, & Robinson-Zanartu (2015) stated that
American teachers have traditional cultural views of what students should or should not
do. They have an expectation of how students look, act, talk, and learn from the dominant
culture. When students come from different cultures, it can be seen as a deficit rather than
a strength to the classroom. Instead of viewing these differences as a negative, teachers
can use these cultural beliefs as a way to reach the children in a very minimally invasive
way. By implementing this type of teaching style, teachers could address culturally
specific issues to distinctive populations (Aganza, Godinez, Smith, Gonzalez, &
Robinson-Zanartu, 2015).
Historical Impact in North Central Indiana
North Central Indiana comes with a unique population and barriers affecting
educational attainment. Research has shown that there are specific economic,
educational, and political aspects of this community that affect the Latino community
(Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011). Historically, Elkhart, Noble, and St. Joseph
counties started to receive an influx of Latino immigrants in the early 1990s. These
immigrants face the difficulties associated with learning a new language and a new
culture all the while having limited resources such as financial means or access to


19
educational resources (Parson, Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes, 2011). These areas have
received especially high levels of immigration due to industrial and agricultural jobs that
are prevalent in the area (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011). Unfortunately, these
Latinos are subject to having higher poverty rates, lower income, lower educational
attainment and lower homeownership rates.
From US Census Bureau data published in 2009, Latinos display the highest rate
of completing less than a ninth grade education in both Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.
In both of these counties, 42% of Latinos have less educational attainment than a high
school diploma (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 201 l).When taking the 42% into
account and consider that Elkharts total population was 25.7% Latino, this showed a
large percentage of Elkhart's population does not have a high school diploma (Parson,
Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes, 2011). This statistic is significantly higher than the 15% of
White and African American populations from the same area. When parents have lower
levels of educational attainment, it can present a challenge to help their children achieve
educationally. For these new immigrants, the educational system can seem very
confusing (Lopez & Viramontez Anguiano, 2013).
Research shows that parental involvement is key in the development of
educational attainment of children (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). Guzman,
Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan-Silva (2011) found that educational attainment of the Latino
population in north central Indiana can be addressed by identifying the educational needs
and assets of this community. Parental involvement, academic experiences, and social
experiences present different educational needs and assets for the Latino community
(Passel, 2006; Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan-Silva, 2011).


20
It was documented that parents of Latino students were less likely to be involved
in their children's education due to social, linguistic, cultural, and political factors
(Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan-Silva, 2011). Less parental involvement could lead
to the lower educational attainment of future generations (Guzman, Jara, Armet, &
Reyes, 2011). Because many of these immigrants come from rural cultures in their native
lands, they may not have extended access to education while growing up (Guzman,
Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan-Silva, 2011). What is shown is that these parents may not be
able to specifically provide aid with their children's homework, but this data
acknowledges Latino parents have found additional methods to nurture their children.
These parents focus on assisting their children through emotional care. This can
be done by motivating them to do their coursework or finding a mentor for them to aid in
their childrens studies (Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan-Silva, 2011). The other
significant way that Latino parents are addressing their children's educational experience
is by going to the schools themselves. This is especially relevant as academic success will
promote socioeconomic stability for Latinos in the region (Guzman, Jara, Armet, &
Reyes, 2011). It has been documented that many parents attended school meetings as
regularly as possible, attempted to learn English, and sought out changes in
discriminatory practices that involve themselves or their children (Guzman, Reyes,
Palacios, & Carolan-Silva, 2011).
These factors then make it clear that theoretical knowledge of these issues is
necessary. Without clear understanding of how and why these difficult situations can
affect a person, it becomes impossible to fully comprehend how to help these
underserved youths. When a persons situation and environment are able to be mapped


21
out on a needs-based background, it then becomes easier to understand how cultural
difficulties can affect a person. This then makes it evident that theoretical implications
are needed to best understand how a situation can be altered.
Theoretical Framework
The profound effects of these raids, pressures, and lack of political power can be
explored through using different theoretical frameworks. In researching what theories
would be most effective in understanding the positions of a person placed in a position of
discrimination, two theories became relevant. These systems are specifically relevant in
understanding how the environment and culture that dominates Latino students affect
their personal identity. The first theory utilized ecological systems to help describe
individuals identity. The second specifically focuses on how an individual will progress
developmentally compared to what happens when needs arent met.
For this study, Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological System's Theory (1989) and
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (1943) provided a window through which to
explain the occurrences of Latino youths in north central Indiana. The Ecological
System's Theory was used as the primary framework for findings of this study. This
framework will be used in conjunction with chapter 4 and the results section of this
thesis. The Hierarchy of Needs will be used as a way to explain the preliminary findings
in the future research section of chapter 5. This framework will be discussed as part of
chapter 5 to provide direction for discussion and future research of this study. Together,
the Ecological System's theory and the Hierarchy of Needs provided a framework for the
current study and future research based on the findings.


22
Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory
Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory (1989) provides a systematic
method for uncovering the environmental complexities involved in a persons ecological
systems. This theory is based off of cultural and impactful environments. These
environments allow for the best situation to determine which systems are particularly
influential for that person. For the purposes of this article, this theory will specifically
look at the impact of social inequalities for an at-risk Latino child.
The innermost circle in Bronfenbrenner's model (1989) is the microsystem. This
system is composed of any directly impactful influence on a childs life (e.g., family,
school, church,). Many Latino children have found discrimination from peers in school
due to their cultural norms. These children gain increased stress with fewer of their
colleagues also being from Latino ancestry (Becerra, et. al., 2012). Pressure from non-
Latino children has a direct correlation to academic success (Becerra, et. al., 2012).
Latino children with strong connections in the microsystem are especially academically
successful when they conform to mainstream ideologies and create bonds among other
minority groups (Rivas-Drake & Mooney, 2009).
The second innermost circle is the mesosystem. This system is comprised of two
or more microsystems that interact or have direct contact regarding the child (e.g., parent
and teachers, pastors and siblings). The interaction between these two microsystem
groups can be strained through language barriers. This would directly impact the childs
adjustment. For example, if a teacher cannot communicate with the childs parents, they
will not be able to gain information in which ways to aid the child. These barriers create


23
strain for both parties and the school system in general (Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, &
Chavez, 2013).
The exosystem is the circle in Bronfenbrenner's model (1989) in which the child
does not directly interact with those involved, but the child is impacted (e.g., a parents
job, the school board, the city council). The exosystem would be directly related to
immigration policy and the political ideals and the difficulties associated with parents and
families becoming legalized in the United States. If the United States becomes stricter in
immigration policy, the individual is indirectly impacted, but forced to adapt to these
policies. The change in these policies would then impact the childs perception on their
environment.
The macrosystem is the farthest outward circle. This topic covers broad concepts
about culture through all the other systems. The macrosystem can be seen as the blueprint
for a particular region or culture (Viramontez-Anguiano, Reyes, & Chavez, 2013). It is
important to note that there can be cultural differences in the macrosystem of Latinos
from similar backgrounds as well.
The differences within the macrosystem provided research distinct realities within
the Latino population. Rivas-Drake and Mooney (2009) discussed how two different sets
of Latinos have emerged through the process of acculturation in the United States. The
first is the group that has chosen to coincide into mainstream culture. This group was
more likely to succeed academically as well as have at least one parent with a college
degree (Rivas-Drake & Mooney, 2009). The second group was more likely to hold onto
cultural norms, but participate in volunteer and campus organized sports (Rivas Drake
and Mooney, 2009). The cultural differences between these two groups show that within


24
one country, the macrosystem can affect different people within the same community
differently. For example a Latino who has acculturated to the United States may focus on
education and more individualistic career goals over a Latino who maintains a strong
cultural identity. As the research demonstrated it is critical to understand the diversity of
experiences of Latinos and education.
Bronfenbrenner (1989) concludes using the chronosystem. The chronosystem is
not an outward expansion of any of the other systems. The chronosystem is all
encapsulating based off of the time and location associated with the attitudes of those
involved. Depending on where a Latino child is living at a certain time, they are going to
have different experiences and different values pushed upon them. For example, a Latino
living in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina would face different social and
environmental pressures than a Latino living in Louisiana in the 1950s. The first
individual could be focused on survival and rebuilding a broken community, whereas the
second individual could be faced with promotion of equal rights through the Civil Rights
movement.
Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Theory (1943) was presented as the basis
for human motivation. The basic concept behind this theory is the drive for a human to
focus on survival before any other need was met. After focusing on surviving, cultural
identities and development become crucial in self-discovery and motivation. It is needs
such as safety and love are then the focus of a humans motivation and should be
considered when working with Latino families and their youths personal development. It
is the combination of culture and needs that allows for a person to find themselves. In this


25
way, a person that fulfills needs is more likely to be able to pursue personal interests.
These needs are stacked based on pre-potency or the ability to satisfy all primal needs
before cultural needs (Maslow, 1943). This means that the secondary set of needs cannot
be fully fulfilled until the primary or physiological needs are met. This trend continues up
the ladder of needs.
The physiological needs include anything that will keep the body in a state of
homeostasis (Maslow, 1943). These needs include but are not limited to food, water, and
shelter. Tienda and Haskins (2011) study shows that recent social and economic trends
show that children with immigrant parents fare worse on most social indicators than their
native-born counterparts. When an individual does not have one or more component of
this primary level, they become dominated by the thought of this need. Maslow (1943)
gives the example of a hungry man. For him, paradise would simply be a place with
plenty of food to eat and that is all. If a Latino family is having struggles gaining
resources such as income to purchase food, they will feel more likely to work on these
needs over anything else. Income then is focused on maintaining and acquiring food,
water, and shelter over items such as pencils and rulers for school. Social, educational,
and developmental goals will fall to the wayside to make sure the family is complete and
able to successfully survive.
The secondary level is the safety needs Maslow (1943). When children are placed
in an environment without rhythm or a pattern, they can view the world as unpredictable
or disorderly. If the childs parents do not have a set work schedule or routine to have the
child taken care of, the child can become frightened (Becerra, et. all., 2012). The
inconsistency of work schedules can also leave the child to wonder if their parents will


26
return home. In this case, if a Latino family is worried about security and safety for their
family the thought of a good education might fall to the wayside. The child may become
distracted by the thoughts of their family being tom apart to focus on educational goals
and achievements.
The next level is need of love (Maslow, 1943). This stage is the necessity to feel
love, belonging, and being accepted. Maslow (1943) states that if a person has a lack of
meaningful relationships in their life (parent, siblings, friends, spouse), they will long to
have these goals. If a Latino child immigrates to the United States without knowing
English, it can become hard for this child to create meaningful relationships. Simply by
speaking a language with is not consistent with the dominant culture, the amount of
people the child can relate to decreases significantly. This is especially true in
predominantly English speaking communities.
If all the previous levels are relatively secure and accomplished the child will lead
to the esteem needs. This level is the desire by nearly all people to have a stable, firmly
based self-esteem which is based on a real capacity of achievement and respect from
those around us (Maslow, 1943). The ability to fit into peer groups is a developmental
issue for all children. It is expected that Latino noncitizens achieve higher educational
equity when they reside with Latino citizens who share similar policy preferences (Rocha
& Matsubayashi, 2012). If a Latino child has a strong support network, this level of
attainment will be easily overcome. When a child can develop socially, strong peer
relations and resistance to conform to mainstream society can lead to students becoming
more active and involved in ethnic activities and organizations (Rivas-Drake & Mooney,
2009). It is suggested that implementation of culturally relevant material to create social


27
relations into education will provide positive results with educational attainment. The
ability to achieve positive social status is crucial in developing self-esteem and self-
worth. This level is based on the idea that self-esteem will lead to the development of the
feeling of worth, strength, capability and most importantly interpersonal confidence
(Maslow, 1943)
The top level of attainment is the need for self-actualization. This need is the
ability to find a calling or as Maslow himself stated as a key theme to much of his
research, what a man can be, he must be (Maslow, 1943). This realization comes in a
variety of fashions. A person may feel content by successfully taking care of his/her
family or the need to become a doctor. Though this level can be achieved through
intrinsic motivations, this achievement can become even more attainable through
education. Historically immigrants have used schools to acquire skills and knowledge
needed to successfully integrate into the society in the United States (Tienda & Haskins,
2011). For this reason, the development of educational goals for Latinos is ever
important. The ability to inspire educationally opens up the opportunity to reach the
highest levels of Maslows Hierarchy of Needs (1943).
The Necessity to Aid Latino Youth in American Culture
Today's immigrants have a much different attitude than immigrants who
settled here one hundred years ago. This newer, post-modern wave of
immigrants isn't assimilating into our culture because, unlike their
predecessors, they have adopted a kind of parasitic approach to the
United States. They aren't interested in becoming citizens; they simply
want to attach themselves to their American host and feed off of it while
maintaining their native identities and cultures. In doing so, they lack any
sense of American community.
(Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo 2006: 203; Nelson & Hiemstra,
2008)


28
The previous quote demonstrates the lack of awareness and understanding by
some political officials of the Latino culture. This controversial quote shows that often
people in power positions do not have the needs and desires of Latino youth on their
agenda. Rather than aiding these children, many politicians view them as outsiders. If a
politician is willing to express comments like this in public, more than likely, many
people feel the same way in private. When large numbers of immigrant families move
into an area traditionally composed of Anglo residents, many viewed this mobilization as
a crisis for their community and location identity (Nelson & Hiemstra, 2008).
It then becomes necessary to understand the struggles these children face and
create a way for them to become successful. In Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems
Model (1989), both the exosystem and macrosystem describe how this level of
discrimination interacts with a person. When the culture of the power position looks
down or hinders the advancement or the interests of Latinos, the exosystem of the child
changes from social support to a system of discrimination as well. This then separates the
childs macrosystem from the general population to a unique and individual system
where the Latino children are misunderstood as or believed to be not welcome to
participate in cultural events with the rest of society.
Mexican immigrants were (and are) placed in hierarchies of race, class, and
illegality while being placed in low income and insecure employment (Nelson &
Hiemstra, 2008). Not having constant and sustainable income creates an insecure
environment which Maslow (1943) describes as a deterrent for attaining the second level
of his Hierarchy of Needs. In the third level, Maslow (1943) described the desire to have


29
a stable self-esteem. It becomes very unlikely that a child who grows up with political
power oppressing them will ever fully develop a healthy self-image.
For many Latino youths and families, there is a constant pull of which ways to be
successful in transitioning to America. It seems as though there is a constant pull between
remaining true to ones homeland and becoming acculturated to American society. The
more a Latino becomes acculturated into the United States, the higher chance there is of
eventual success (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). This creates a dilemma in
many ways. First, does the family have the language capabilities to even begin fully
becoming acculturated? Second, is it morally right to become acculturated and
assimilated into American society rather than remaining true to ones roots? Over
anything else, when a person evaluates oneself as competent and worthwhile, does it
create high predictors of positive self-esteem? There are also correlations between self-
esteem and more acculturated Latinos (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011).
The process of becoming acculturated is very difficult. Many of these Latino
families do not have the monetary or language means to be able to initially become
successful at this process. If a family does not have the monetary means to give their
child school supplies, these children can then in turn fall behind in their studies. The
developmental delays stemming from lack of monetary means is only magnified when
language becomes an issue as well. When the parents do not have the ability to teach
their children English, it can significantly delay the education of Latino youth. These
children then have to learn the language while in turn keeping up with their studies.


30
Chapter III
METHODS
This chapter is the basis for design and practices used in this thesis. The data
provided was examined as a means to illustrate the impact of ecological systems effect on
Latino families in north central Indiana. It is also important to restate that all data was
collected in part through the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning at Goshen
College. This study was part of a larger project funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc.
Grant No. 2006 1434-000.This section was designed to follow work in accordance with
this funded research which was part of the Latino Family Research Project in north
central Indiana in which Dr. Ruben Viramontez Anguiano was the primary researcher.
Research Design
This study was designed to discover the internal relationships and cultural beliefs
of Latino immigrant families on the educational system in the United States based on
Creswells (2003) qualitative approach. Creswells work focused on creating a safe and
inclusive design for studies working with qualitative data. The current studys
ethnographic approach was based on this method. Data focused on the educational
attainment of Latino children through the eyes of their parents and leaders in the
community. Research conducted focused on the ethnographic influences to create a
holistic understanding to this cultural adjustment (Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, Chavez,
& 2013). This data was collected by reaching out to migrant communities by way of
multiple interactions. These interactions included interviews, observations, and
interaction with these respondents. Creswell (2003) states that these varied components
are important parts of an ethnography. Collection of this data was derived from multiple


31
visits into this community so that more findings, themes, and confidence was built
(Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, & Chavez, 2013). Because this population is placed in
difficult situation, gaining trust and receiving trustworthiness through the data was key to
the study. To address this, member check was conducted to ensure meaning and
trustworthiness of statements (Creswell, 2003; Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes and Chavez,
2013). This member check and triangulation process was utilized to make sure that all
researchers viewed the opinions and statements in the same way. This process created a
way for all data and results to convey the true meaning of the research (Viramontez
Anguiano, Reyes and Chavez, 2013).
Participants
Families
All participants were residing in north central Indiana. The specific location of
these participants has been deidentified to keep anonymity. For the purposes of this study
respondents were given numbers associated with their responses. Family participants
were credited by writing Participant followed by a corresponding identification number
(see Chapter 4). This study included 40 families which consisted of 63 immigrant
individuals. Of these families, a majority were from Mexico (37) and others were from
Nicaragua (1), El Salvador (1) and Honduras (1). The mean age of these participants was
41 for females and 42 for males. These parents had varied highest educational level
attained ranging from elementary school to graduate school. A vast majority showed
educational difficulties as 35 (55.5%) did not receive a high school diploma.
Of this population, 11 (17.4%) received six years or fewer of formal education.
The remaining 13 (38.1%) participants received twelve years of school in either Latin


32
America (12) or the United States (1). Others had college opportunities as 12 (19.0%)
received some college education including college degrees (9 or 14.3%), masters
degrees (2 or 3.2%) and doctoral degrees (2 or 3.2%). Though there is a wide range in
educational attainment, educational attainment is negatively skewed towards lower levels
of educational attainment.
The remainders of the participant were school liaisons. They were hired
professionals within the school themselves directed to aid children at the schools. These
liaisons worked with all students, but primarily focused on the Latino students in the
community. These liaisons acted as a bridge for Latino family members to understand
academic and social resources available at the schools.
School Liaisons
For the purposes of this study all school liaisons were deidentified. To credit these
liaisons, participants were quoted and credited by writing Participant SL followed by a
corresponding identification number. For an example of this see Chapter 4. These liaisons
were only briefly quoted but provided context for the importance of the thematic
findings.
Of the participants, the school liaison respondents were primarily aged in their
20's and 30's, but included a ranged from 23- 62. All the school liaisons were female. Of
the 7 participants, 6 respondents were Latinas. Specifically, 4 participants came from
Mexican background, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from Columbia and there was 1 European
American. These liaisons were knowledgeable in working with this community as
participants ranged from 3-17 years of experience. The liaisons had an education range


33
from 2 years of college to a bachelors degree. All the liaisons were bilingual so that they
could work with the Latino population.
From the current study, seven liaisons were working in the schools directly. Two
of these liaisons were not selected for this study. Transcriptions for these two liaisons
were in Spanish and due to language barriers of the researcher, this data was
unidentifiable. Liaisons presented the perception of community members who worked in
the schools themselves. Liaisons each worked in different school environments.
Role of the Researcher
As a researcher, the importance of this topic cannot be stated enough. As the
population and culture in the United States becomes more in line with Latinos, it will
become more and more important to see exactly how to best serve this population. It is
believed that creating awareness and understanding of how and why this population is
still being oppressed will act as a catalyst for equality. It is the belief of the researcher
that if society does not truly understand the difficulties affecting this population from a
qualitative standpoint, a solution to this equality problem will never be found. How then
is change created? This research focuses on the idea that discussion and understanding of
what is at the root of this discrimination will lead to eventual political, societal, and
cultural changes. It is only by changing these three aspects of everyday life that equality
will be reached. Research can act as a basis for this macrosystem change.
Primary Researcher
Research conducted for this thesis was in part of the larger Latino Family
Research Project. This work was developed so that access to the perceptions of this
underserved population could be spread. Primary researchers worked to better this


34
community and to present their hardships and strengths to the outside world. Primary
researchers worked within this community for three years gaining trust and the perception
of Latinos living in north central Indiana. This primary study asks for future research
and implementation of this knowledge towards the strengths and struggles of this
population through the immigration process. To conclude, this study states that future
research is needed to, explore how the unauthorized status of immigrant Latinos families
in the Midwest impacts other domains, such as educational success (Viramontez,
Anguiano, Reyes, Chavez, p. 18, 2013).
Secondary Researcher through the University of Colorado Denver
It is the role as a secondary researcher to continue and expand on the goals of the
primary researchers. This was achieved by focusing the current study on the future
research objective of the primary study. By taking new variables gathered in the same
data set, it becomes more reliable that conclusions drawn in this thesis can be expanded
to a broader contextual meaning. Greater understanding of the depths of this previous
research will draw more of a complete picture into the ecological systems affecting this
population. Only by fully exhausting this data is it possible to encompass the interactions
between ecological factors affecting this population. Though this thesis only identifies
three variables, it is a hope that this data will be reused until all variables are covered.
The variables selected specifically target the educational experience of Latino
students. It is the belief of the primary researcher that we are all bom equal. Only societal
discriminations that leave certain populations struggling to get succeed. This ideal has led
to desire to aid children born to immigrant families by building up their access to
protective factors. By looking at how the family and community leaders about their views


35
in educational success and leadership it is possible to get a firsthand account of how and
why Latino individuals are having educational problems,
Interview Protocol
All protocols were derived from the Latino Family Research Project from the
Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning at Goshen College which was funded by a
Lilly Endowment Grant. The theoretical framework of this interview protocol was
designed based on the larger Latino Family Research Project and the ground breaking
research of Concha Delgado-Gaitan (1992).
Protocol for this study was based on a multistep process including an interview
followed by observations and interactions with participants. Interviews for this research
were done in a manner to create a safe environment free from external societal pressures.
To achieve this goal, research was done in the familys native language of Spanish on an
individual basis. All answers were open ended in order to give them the ability to speak
freely about their experiences in north central Indiana. Other members families were
allowed to be present at the time of the interviews. All participants were given consent
forms and were instructed that all participation was voluntary. Participants were
instructed that they could withdraw from the study at any time. After the interviews were
over, research continued by reaching out to the individuals on a larger and more personal
scale. All the same procedures were used with the school liaison participants.
Data Analysis
A thematic analysis was presented as a means of data analysis. Data was analyzed
on by specifically focusing on the theoretical work of Bronfenbrenners Ecological
Systems Theory. What became important through this data was finding recurring themes


36
by different participants. This came from multiple interaction, interviews, and
observations of the participants of this study. After these themes were identified, this
collection of data became the perceived ecological context of Latinos living in north
central Indiana. Once these themes were identified follow up interviews were used to
pinpoint the examples derived from this research. This means that researched took
previous quotes and redirected conversation to specifically target these themes. To insure
trustworthiness the primary researcher went back on multiple occasions bringing up the
same themes to ensure that all data collected was accurately received and had not
changed over time. The final results of this data then became the perceived ethnographic
ideals of the population on the educational system in north central Indiana.
The final results of this data were then recorded as the basis for this thesis.
Concluding data evaluated participants perception of the educational attainment for
Latino youth. These conclusions were drawn through the experiences of the participants
of this study. Thematic results are interpreted through Appendix D. All variables were
selected based to specifically focus on educational attainment. These variables were
selected as to gain two independent standpoints of the education available to this
population. The answers highlighted in this thesis are selected based on their ability to
explain the personal accounts correlating with the thematic principles of
Bronfenbrenners Ecological Systems Theory. Additional variables were ignored as to
not dilute the qualitative reasoning about educational attainment in north central Indiana


37
Procedures
Original Study
The original data was collected using open discussions and direct participant
participation in through the Latino Family Research Project. This was done through the
use of Spradleys Ethnographic Interview Model (1979) and Participant Observation
Model (1980). Original data was collected over numerous hours of interaction with this
sample population. At the onset of research protocol the primary researcher (The Latino
Family Research Project) stressed to the sample population that this was a mutual
ethnographic learning experience. This goal was achieved through recruiting participants
through a purposive manner. Community leaders were identified and given the
instrument.
From here, these community leaders directed the researchers to other participants
from the study. Respondents could then enter the study once they were approved as being
voluntary and qualified candidates. The researchers from the Latino Family Research
Project then became involved with everyday life by attending dinners, rituals (church and
community events) and other means of discussion such as attending after school
programs (Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, Chavez, 2013). This active participation lasted
two years to achieve active involvement and trust in the community as a means to
continue the Spradleys Ethnographic Interview (1979). The primary researcher of the
Latino Family Research Project had 20 years of working in the community, spoke
Spanish, and was born to immigrant parents. This experience led to openness with the
researcher and the participants in a manner which is unprecedented as of today.


38
Secondary Data Procedures-University of Colorado Denver
For the purpose of this thesis, all variables were selected from this data set based
on those variables which had the deepest meaning to educational barriers that affect
Latino youth. Variables were identified in both the community leaders data set and the
family data set. Information was analyzed to by identifying common factors within the
data. These factors were then analyzed as either a strength or a difficulty associated with
this population (Tables 1 & 2). This was done by reading participants responses and
identifying key concepts or factors that appeared in the data. Once a factor was identified
it was compared with all other participants. These factors were then analyzed by looking
at the frequency of appearances. Together, twenty-eight factors came from the data.
These factors were then analyzed and combined into four thematic results. These results
are the lasting contribution from this study.


39
CHAPTER IV
FINDINGS
Thematic Findings
After reviewing the data, it became apparent that there was a multitude of factors
that affects the educational attainment of Latino youth in north central Indiana. Twenty-
eight different individual factors were identified (Tables 1 & 2) as either strengths or
difficulties associated with how parents viewed the educational experience of their
children. Most of these variables directly impacted the childrens education such as
having to learn English after immigrating to the United States. Other factors included the
educational system, community, or personal lives of the children. Thus, the objective of
this chapter is to present the findings from the secondary data through the use of a
thematic style to better understand Latino families and their youth education in north
central Indiana. Another objective of this chapter is to contextually ground the finding
through the use the Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Model. The overarching result
that came from this data was that all participants mentioned aspects that are associated
with both Bronfenbrenners Ecological Systems Theory (1989) and Maslows Hierarchy
of Needs (1943). What follows is the reporting of the findings through the 4 themes with
the use of Bronfenbrenners Model to help contextualize the meaning of the data.
Maslows model will be furthered discussed in chapter 5 through preliminary findings in
the future research section.


0
D
0
0
0
0
1
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1
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a
o
o
l
l
l
0
D
1
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D
D
1
D
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
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0
D
D
D
0
Reported Strengths of Participants Educational Expierences
Specialized resources Change parental desires pare ntal involvment better themselves Value of Educacion Value of Respect value of Religion
1 0 1 1 1 1 i 1
1 D 1 1 1 1 1 1
0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1
1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1
0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1
0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1
1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
0 0 0 1 0 i 1 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0
0 0 1 0 0 1 Q 0
1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
i 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1
D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0
0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0
0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
I 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
0 1 1 1 1 1 Q 0
1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1
I 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1
1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0
1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0
1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0
0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21 11 21 24 17 22 15 20


0
0
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1
Reported Difficulties of Participants Educational Expierences
Language access to educational resources cultural differences in education schools are overwhelmed/f inanaal Lack of respect SES Lack of value in education Students fall behind Lack of educational sucessful Latinos parental comfortabilitv parental/gang violence against children racism Lack of motivation
0 1 1 0 0 1 0 l 1 1 1 0 0
0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0
1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 1 0 0 0 0 D 0 0 1 0 0
1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1
1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1
i 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 D 0 0
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1
1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0
1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
27 25 23 5 3 15 4 14 10 12 9 11 12


42
Once these factors were identified using Bronfenbrenners Ecological Systems
Model (1989) they were contextualized (Appendix D). Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
(1943) model was used to describe preliminary findings as discussed in chapter 5. In this
way, the ecological factors that were affected led to the participants' perspective of
educational and personal development. A person who had greater support in the family
and community appeared to have been able to progress up Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
more than a person who reported more difficulties in their family and community. These
two theoretical frameworks were then used in conjunction to explain what occurred in the
educational experiences of Latino youth in north central Indiana. Overall, respondents
that reported more strength factors and less difficulties reported greater amounts of
educational success and greater adaptation to life in north central Indiana. In opposition,
the respondents that reported greater difficulties also reported less educational success
and adaptation to life in north central Indiana. These results and preliminary findings are
shown in Appendix D and Tables 1 & 2.
What came as an interesting finding was that many of the strength and difficulty
factors are very similar in nature. An example that explains this finding is that twenty-one
respondents stated that their parental involvement was crucial in the educational
attainment of their children (Table 1). Nineteen respondents also stated that there was
very little Latino parental involvement in the community (Table 2). Thus, one of the
conclusions from the data was that parental involvement in the school system is crucial in
educational attainment to Latino families and their youth. Without parental involvement
students may not have the support to advance past Safety Needs in Appendix D. This
finding was consistent with the previous research that has found that the more Latino


43
parents involved themselves in the formal education of their children, the more like they
were to succeed (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011).
Thus, it became the goal of the research to understand why the strengths and
difficulties were so similar in nature. Why were participants stating factors such as
parental involvement or access to educational resources seen as both a strength and a
difficulty associated with this population? The conclusion drawn from this occurrence
was that if these themes are reoccurring as both a strength and a difficulty, these issues
must be at the heart of what is truly affecting Latino youth in north central Indiana. By
participants mentioning that they are glad a factor is being addressed or wish an aspect of
their children's education needs additional resources, these variables must be important to
educational attainment.
The similarities in data provided four key themes that were directed out of the
research in relations to Bronfenbrenners Ecological Systems Theory (1989). These
themes were transcendent across systems (microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and
macrosystem) and looked at the interaction between these systems through the concept of
time or the chronosystem. Though these themes were directed through the Ecological
Systems Theory (1989), they provide evidence as to why students may not obtain
optimal achievement in the Hierarchy of Needs (1943).
Theme 1: Educational Cultural Differences between the United States and
Participants Homelands.
The first theme is educational cultural differences between the United States and
participants' homelands. This theme looked at the interaction between macrosystem
cultural ideals on education and the microsystem family interactions. For this theme data


44
was derived from thematic factors such as: more diversity, education starts in the home,
cultural differences in education, lack of value in education, and parental education. This
theme looks at the specific differences between the cultural identities and beliefs of
education for Latino families. The variable associated to this theme would be: how are
cultural differences between participants homelands and the United States affecting
students educational attainment?
A major part of this theme is the idea that in the Latino culture the term educated
(education) means something different than in the traditional United States sense. Many
times individuals who have little formal classroom education can still be viewed as
educated. This is in part due to the fact that in many Latino cultures, a persons attitude
and the way a person represents himself or herself is the true meaning of educated.
Participants reported:
There is a big difference between the academic and education. I have met people
who are very educated academically, but they are very vulgar. They are not
educated at all. But I have met people that dont know how to read, they are
illiterate, but they are very educated. The academic part doesnt have anything to
do with education.
-Participant 0086
Education for me, has to do with the way they treat people, and that is a high
value because of the whole respect and treating me as an equal. Estudiada is one
who has learned, or has an education, they can be estudiada but not educada. I can
have my degree but I don't know how to treat a person. Another value is family.
At least taking care of the family, taking care of each other is important. The
value of respect. When I say family value too is how we reflect our family based
on how we act. Parents might not care so much about what their child is learning,
but did they behave, were they respectful? That is the most important thing for the
families. And that is a direct reflection of the parents.
-Participant SL 0111


45
These findings demonstrate the distinction between educated (education) and
education (studied). This distinction is key in really understanding the cultural
importance between traditional education and the cultural education that new immigrants
are accustomed to. To confirm this statement participants stated:
Educated is that he is respectful and respects people. Studied is that he has some
capability to make him successful. He studied something so he can be successful.
-Participant 0070
Thats the difference between education from the home and education from the
school. As long as the education is at home they take it and practice it at the
school. I refer to being respectful with the teachers, to be kind with others, etc.
Education at the home is more morally than the education of the school.
-Participant 0091
As documented in previous research (Salinas, 2008) the cultural discontinuity that
occurs between Latino families and their youth and the concept of education was
apparent as documented by the participants. Often Latino parents value their childrens
education and struggle with the realities of American educational system (Salinas,
Viramontez Anguiano, & Ibrahim, 2008). Thus, the current findings demonstrated that
some of the Latino parents had not received much of a formal education in their home
country. As a result of this lack of formal education, participants were not as familiar
educational systems in the United States. The data demonstrated that the effect of this
cultural difference is that parents attempted to place the same amount value on education
as education (studied)a result of the lack of formal education was that some Latino
parents needed additional help with formal education. Participants saw that due to their
goals of teaching their children education, formal education (studied) was not seen as the
priority of mainstream students. Rather, participants stated the importance of educating
their children with both formal education (studied) and education.


46
Participants stated:
I think thats where us Hispanics need a little help. Education in itself is not a
priority in Hispanic families. We dont see Hispanics encouraging their children. I
educated myself alone. I am one among eight brothers, and I am the only who
graduated from a higher university twice. But I did it for me. My mother never
knew what I was doing. I could tell her anything and she didnt understand
anything of what I did. She did not study and was not involved in any way. It was
my responsibility to get up on time and go to school. The big majority, the group
of Hispanics who are focused in education is very few.
-Participant 0086
Here at the home is where you make the best children, from here teachers,
doctors, will emerge. The school is there but the first school is your home which
you need to take to expand them and take them outside. The family group is what
will make you a better citizen.
-Participant 0095
There is a saying the education is not learned, its sucked (se mama). Like a
baby, from the breast. So it says that you will learn things at home. You may be
rich, but if you are not educated, it will not be worth it. And also if you are the
poorest, but have good manners, it is worth it.
-Participant 0062
To further the discussion regarding the differences between education, in others
words, the cultural discontinuity between Latinos and mainstream students, the data
consistently bolded out these types of findings. For example it is also important to
mention that there was a lot of difficulty for parents trying to aid their children once they
get into the American educational system. Language barriers and differences in teaching
methods between the United States and the participants' home lands can create added
tension between parents, teachers, and schools. As stated in the participants section (page
31), 55.5% of participants did not receive a high school education. Without this
education, it can be difficult to become involved in their childs educational experience.


47
Participants stated how difficult linguistic challenges could impede the interaction
between the parents and the childrens access to education.
Participants stated:
When they go to school we cant help them anymore because we dont know.
From that moment the gap between parents and children becomes wider. We
dont know how to teach because there is another system here, another language,
it is very difficult for us. We dont know how to read them books in English at
nights. To motivate them is difficult because we dont know how to do it.
-Participant 0100
There are many kids that are like that because many of the parents that came to
this country, we come to work and work and we dont know whats happening
with our children. You dont know if your son went to school or not, or if he
came, you dont know if he came from the school or not. They need to look after
them. Thats true and that happens in many families and continues to happen.
Children dont finish school, they leave. Many girls get pregnant.
-Participant 0088
It is very different here. Help us, because as parents we are educating ourselves
because we are trying to teach something that they never taught us at the same
time.
-Participant 0113
From this data it is imperative that anyone who is trying to work with this
population sees that in order to create solid educational development for Latino students,
there has to be collaboration between the education in the home and at the school. Just
working within the formal mainstream educational model may not establish the
importance or develop the motivation in the student that collaboration of both the home
and school setting could. It is also important to realize that many of these students will
not have access to parental help at the home. These parents may want to be involved and
aid their children educationally, but may not have the means to education to assist their


48
children. Instead, bringing the parents desires and goals for the student to achieve into
the classroom will build a strengths based classroom. This may allow these parents and
students to adapt better to the educational system in the United States. The finding from
this theme contributed to the Latino family and education literature that has illustrated the
familial-cultural differences between Latino families and European American mainstream
education.
Specifically, Delgado-Gaitanis' (1992) groundbreaking work documented similar
examples of these cultural differences. The current research contributes to the literature
through illustrating similar findings in north central Indiana that has rarely been
investigated through the use of qualitative methods and ecological theories. This theme
provided rich descriptions of the importance to understand the contextual nature of
education in Latino families. More specifically it provided a window to understanding
how Latino familial systems interact with mainstream educational systems. This theme is
in accordance with previous research that has provided similar findings for Latino
families. The current theme demonstrates how Bronfenbrenners mesosystem interactions
between Latino families and school are impacted by the macrosystem large ideologies of
how education is defined and delivered. Moreover, it provides insight to the importance
of developing partnerships between Latino families and mainstream educational systems
to ensure the educational success of Latino youth. The theme gives insight to the
challenges that Latino parents face in their effort to help their children succeed.
Theme 2: Adversity in Access to Educational Success.
The second theme that arose was adversity in access to educational resources.
This theme derives from both the connections in Bronfenbrenners (1989) microsystemic


49
interactions and mesosystem communications within the schools. It is also important to
note that this area of Indiana is unlike many in the United States as students as some
received additional assistance through school liaisons. The school liaisons were there to
make sure that all students (especially Latinos) were given the opportunity to have a
positive and productive learning environment and they were exposed to the different
educational programming that the district provided.
These liaisons seemed to be overworked with high numbers of students needing
assistance per liaison. This was an important finding, because this area also has a wide
range of Latino students with some schools having much higher (up to 50% reported by
participants) immigrant populations than others (as few as 10% reported by participants).
Many times with immigrants migrating to the United States, it is difficult for this
population to know what is available to them and how to adapt to a new life (Perez,
Espinoza, Ramos, Coronado, Cortes, 2009). For these families, often times they are
unaware of the possibilities of different resources (Parson, Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes,
2011). Some of these resources look at how to become involved with their childrens
education and receive educational aid and other resources. From the data, it seemed that
many parents did not participate in activities as they had real concerns of fear of
deportation or separation from their families. Often the school liaison was the only person
they trusted. What follows are testimonies of the participants and their struggles.
Participants stated:
First barrier is papers, second is that the majority of us come from lower
[socioeconomic] levels and what they look for is money and not to prepare them.
They finish high school, which is mandatory pretty much, but after that then they
go to get the money in factories. The mentality in our community, mostly, is that
one. The outside culture absorbs us. The problem is in parents, not in the kids. We
need to encourage them.


50
-Participant 0074
But I believe that Latinos in general, I only speak for those that are around here, I
work with mostly of the lower socio-economic, and they might not have much
education themselves. So they don't see the value of it. But those that I work with
that have gone to high school or studied post-high school, have a totally different
view, even though they may be an "obrero" they still have a total different view of
education and they are the ones most involved with their children.
-Participant SL 0111
For some of the participants the obstacles were difficult to overcome. Clearly
from the data, the reality of being an immigrant and those of which were undocumented
often served as a major obstacle in serving as advocates for their children and adapting to
the American culture. It seemed as though these participants thought that there was no
help for them. Instead, these participants only had dreams for their childrens success. In
this manner the American dream was not to be successful for themselves, but to give their
children the chance for a better life. These participants wanted to hold on to their culture
and their beliefs rather than accepting a place in a new society. Other participants tried to
acculturate as best as they could while acknowledging the difficulties associated with
their immigration. It was a genuine struggle for individuals to retain their culture while
creating a balance through acculturation with the mainstream.
To support this claim a participant stated:
Well, no one ever adapts 100 percent to a place that is not your own. I can say I
have somewhat adapted... I think adapting is getting accustomed or used to the
place where you are living now. To me, you like that place and feel like it is
yours. I have not really adapted because we go from work to the house and just
enclose ourselves... So adapt, we cant. We have to go out for needs, but we go
for what we need and then come back home. I do try that the kids have a different
experience and that they go out... For example swimming, karate, or choir
because I dont want them to feel like us. Its difficult... We try to tell them to
study by looking at me. I dont want you to wake up at 5 in the morning and work


51
10 hours. If you study, you may not be on TV and all but you will feel good about
yourself. You have to do something you like and that can help others.
-Participant 0062
In regards to access to educational success another issue that the families faced
was not solely scholastic, but rather involved other social issues that affected their
children at school such as gang affiliation and violence. Some of the families reported
that violence as associated with gangs seemed to be prevalent in this area and this
community. The expression of violence from Latino students who were involved in gangs
spilled over to the majority of Hispanic youth who were not involved. The Latino
students who were not in gangs were subject to principals and teachers associating them
in gang activities due to cultural similarities.
Participants stated:
In the middle school is when problems began because other kids began to come
from other places. Gangs from California. They showed kids here different dress
styles and things. There were fights and teachers began to pay more attention to
Hispanics. This happened like in 2000 and 2003. There is a lot of racism with
Mexicans from Americans. I am very mad with middle school and high school
because they began to see all Hispanics as gang members. They took away the
opportunity to graduate. One of my sons was suspended from middle school for
simple reasons like wearing certain colors, wearing baggy clothes, or wearing a
rosary which is very typical in Mexico. I didnt want them to suspend them
because they would not be at home, they would be in the streets. I asked to speak
with all, but they didnt want to help. Then the deaths happened and then I went
again.
-Participant 0070
The gang violence created a division between mainstream students and immigrant
Latino students. This division made it even harder for students to receive aid in their
community. Participants stated that there was limited interaction between Latino students


52
and their school administrators while gang violence was prevalent. As a way to fix this
problem participants stated that school officials needed to,
... speak with parents, we all have children here. In the community where we are
living there is a lot of violence, gangs. They dont think in other things. There are
good things to do but they only think in doing bad... There are many gangsters, a
lot of bad people and we suffer the consequence, but for one person that does the
wrong. They think we are all the same.
-Participant 0088
Theme 3: Policy, Practice and Perception.
This theme came about as a way that Latinos viewed their place is response to
American citizens. The major idea behind this theme is that there were two distinct views
on the Latino population. First, that there were people out there that were trying to aid
them and to make their transition to the United States more peaceful and obtainable. The
second was that there was a group of people who did not want to see them succeed. This
data was derived from factors such as: specialized resources, change, schools are
overwhelmed/fmancial, and racism. These factors resembled the exosystem in that this
population is dependent on the policies and the public services that were developed to
benefit or hinder the Latino families.
For example, if teachers, community leaders, or governmental officials decided to
not accept undocumented students into the classroom, there would be a tremendous effect
on the Latino community. These policies show Bronfenbrenners (1989) macrosystemic
cultural understanding of the United States and the good nature of its people to realize
everyone deserves a chance to become educated. Specifically, this was apparent as
documented in an earlier article that utilized this data (Lopez & Viramontez Anguiano,
2013) that illustrated how the Mennonite community and others in the region reached and


53
provided assistance and aid to the incoming Latino families. This was very apparent in
the schools as the administration advocated for all children.
This cultural transformation of the region has created a new identity for the
schools and the community. There has been a change over the last twenty years to accept
this population into the community. This shift was an important step to the educational
attainment of Latino students in north central Indiana.
A participant stated:
We have always approach them as much as we can. Although the language...
Before there were not people who spoke Spanish at the schools, now there are.
Before we didnt get close to much because of our fear to the language. I
remember when my son got into the school, we went and there wasnt much
relationship with the teachers because they didnt spoke Spanish and us didnt
speak English. Now there are people that help us. We try to be there and we had
good experiences.
-Participant 0080
This theme illustrates how educational systems shifted their policies and practices
to accommodate the growth of Latinos in the schools. The data demonstrated that there
has been an increase in acceptance and resources available to this population. This
progress was certainly a major step forward in the educational attainment of Latinos.
Now, more than ever, there was understanding that this population needed additional
services.
Participants stated:
In the middle school, my son had bad grades. When he was in 7th, he was going to
flunk. I didnt want that. I asked them why they didnt tell me before. They
evaluated him because he has an issue with his ears. Then they paid more
attention to him and now he has great grades.
-Participant 0072


54
One of the things it has done, as far as schools, is to create the ENL program.
There are people here at the school that dont like the program. The kids that just
came, we do an evaluation and we look at their level of English. If they just
arrived to the area, their English is possibly zero. It is measured from 0 to 4. Once
at level 4, it means that their English is ok to be with the rest of the kids. Thats
this program.. .However, the objective of the program is to embrace the kids and
to recognize the area of emotional and social adaptation that the families have to
do. So the program is not as tense or rigid as other subjects. I see that its a little
bit more flexible because they are learning the language and they are adapting. So
the program only wants to embrace the kids in this situation, but at the same time
to give them security or strength so that they go out into the general classes. So
when they go out, for example if they are on level 0, they take natural sciences,
English and mathematics. At least there is one subject that will remain alone. In
that subject they do physical education, some elective, art, drawing. So the
program, apart from the professionals that accompany them and translate for
them, they are left alone so that they listen to the language and adjust to the
classes, and little by little the program wants to take them until they are able to.
-Participant 0116
As part of this theme important policies and practices were implemented into the
school system for the immigrant Latino families. This was especially relevant for those
where English was a new language. English for New Learners (ENL) was a program
placed into the school system to aid newly immigrated students with little or no English
skills. These programs demonstrated to be beneficial to many of the students. Parents
reported that their children were learning English and becoming much more assimilated.
Many of the parents were highly with satisfied with the education that their children were
receiving. However, for some of the parents separating the student had not been an
accepted practice.
It really is for people who dont speak English and so the learn English there, but
I felt that my kids were treated differently. They treated them as Hispanics, as
different. I have always fought so that they treat me equally as others, not because
of color, or language. The same with my children. When they separate them to go
to ENL, thats wrong, why are they separated from the rest? If they dont know
English, they will learn there. Unfortunately many kids grow in that group and
they dont adapt to live in the world we live. It is not that I dont want to have our


55
own culture, because we have it, not because we adapt to the system as the whites
wants us to adapt, but we need to learn how to navigate this world, to stand out in
this world and to try to change the customs of this world along with our culture.
Not to separate them, because we continue to grow separate, isolated.
-Participant 0100
What became clear from the data was that there was no clear cut way to best adapt
this population to the mainstream culture in the United States. By not knowing English,
the students were placed at a disadvantage from the time they entered school.
So it was educating the people and at the same time how to be legal even though
they status is illegal here, and to educate the children because they came to the
school with a very low level of English and everything else. So they werent
receiving knowledge, they were not ready to go the kindergarten. Thats what we
wanted because many times it was the grandmothers, the cousins, the neighbors,
and they were not taking things seriously.
-Participant 0116
By separating the students, there became a distinct difference between the Anglo
students and the Hispanic students. Many of the respondents reported that there was a
distinct difference between the education that many Anglo students received in
opposition to the education that the Latino students received. It appeared that the Anglo
students were given many more educational advantages than the Latino students.
They will say, They are another person, another race. They differentiate us.
Although we are made the same, they see us different.
-Participant 0080
They look at us differently, they think our children cant achieve what they have
achieved. Really, they look at us at a lower level. According to what I have seen,
they see you as inferior in one way or another. To be able to achieve a certain
level we have to educate ourselves, we have to be competitive.
-Participant 0095


56
The majority are good people, but there are always the black beans and those are
the ones who ruin the soup. Black people are of color, but they are known to be
part of this country, and we are not. We are seen as different. Invaders.
-Participant 0074
Theme 4: Cultural Desire to Better Ones Family.
This theme may be the most important to the eventual educational attainment of
Latino youth in north central Indiana. Respondents from this study demonstrated a
distinct desire to better themselves. Factors that influenced this theme are: Parental
desires, parental involvement, desire to better oneself, value of education, value of
respect, lack of motivation, and community unity. Being able to continue this value will
become increasingly important if the mainstream society in the United States does not
learn to accept the Latino culture. This idea is especially transcendent across
Bronfenbrenners Ecological Systems Theory (1989). The cultural desire to better ones
family makes it all the easier for a community to become self-sustaining and self-efficient
in a society that has traditionally held back Latino immigrants. With this belief Latino
parents are driving their children to become more than successful than they are and
helping the community as a whole. Many of the participants came to the United States for
this reason alone; to give their family a better opportunity to become more successful.
As we come from Mexico we dont have those opportunities. You talk more with
your kids so that they work hard because they are in this country and there are
more opportunities and more for them since they are from here and are bilingual.
-Participant 0088
I think that the best advice is to have a good education and adapt where we are
now in days, where ever we are. We, Latinos, come from different cultures and
that can change our ideas towards others. We have to see that all cultures are
good.
-Participant 0072


57
Evidence from this study demonstrated that the United States is a place where
Latino youth can become successful. It may be difficult but there is opportunity for
families and individuals to grow and develop educationally and financially. The Latino
participants in this study showed extreme resiliency to external barriers in dedication to
change their current state.
Participants stated:
When I had arrived, well I had studied university for 2 years. I had a technical
career of teaching. I wanted to study here because I did not want to go to a
factory. I went to career center. I had a niece who went to translate for me. She
went with me for 15 days and then the rest of the two years, I went by myself. It
was hard. I was pregnant when I was still there. I still did it.
-Participant 0074
To be educated academically has to come from me or else I will never achieve it.
Whatever teachers can do, what parents can do, the entire world, but if I dont
decide to study, no one will achieve it. So it has to start in me, but that start with
motivation and incentive. Looking at this, look at me, look there, what is it that
you want to do?
-Participant 0086
Many families realized that the best way to make sure their children would
become successful is by providing them an avenue to be successful in their education.
These families saw their childrens educational attainment as not just a way to make a
difference in their own family but as a way to model for the rest of the community. This
was consistent with previous research of Viramontez, Salinas, and Garcia, (2010). In this
article research focused on the importance offamilismo as source of collectivism for
Latino communities especially when confronted with important socials issues such as
educational attainment. The current study deciphered that these participants showed their
academic success as a way to motivate others and show them that there is a way to keep


58
their traditional familial-cultural beliefs while adapting and succeeding in American
culture.
Participants stated:
Our own family has told us, and admire us, because we were able to educate our
children. Since childhood we didnt let them just run here and there. She wanted
to wear something, but not here. More than anything, the example and education
you got to give it to them when they are kids. Even though they have their 24
years I tell them to go get something, and they get it. On the other hand, I have
nephews that they are told to take the trash out but they dont do it. There are kids
8 years old that rebel against their parents. And that is wrong. What is happening?
The values are getting lost, but the parents are the ones to blame because there are
kids that already have piercings and with their hair standing up. They give them
the freedom to do whatever they want. So when those kids are 13 or 14, they
wont be able to deal with them.
-Participant 0079
The idea of keeping traditional beliefs became a major issue within the
participants. Many of the participants reported that over time motivation became an issue.
It seemed as though many people in the Latino culture lost the drive to better themselves
and had accepted a role in poverty. This concept is supported by Arbona & Jimenez
(2014) who stated that as academic goals diminish, motivation diminished as well. This
also seemed to enrage many of the participants that were involved in the education of
their children. There became an awakening by these participants to encourage other
parents to get involved in their childrens education; to not settle and to better their
community. This finding reflected Delgado-Gaitan (1992). School matters in the
Mexican-American home: Socializing children to education article that discussed the
importance of balancing Latino family values and mainstream education. For Delgado-
Gaitan the importance of an equilibrium or acculturation was critical to the success of
Latino youth education. Participants shared in rich descriptions their importance of this
balance.


59
Specially those of us who understand and walk in education. A lot of it has to do
with educating the parents in how to help and encourage their kids. I think the
only way in our situation, in my personal and group situation, is that we dont
have time or resources, but if we could connect with the liaisons, to connect with
the schools and to do a campaign, connected with everyone there who work there
and they can do more work and we can help them. We can meet and say what can
we do with these people who are not graduating.
-Participant 0088
I am trying to be more involved in everything. I learned this because in the same
conversations of the kids, they tell you that they feel like their parents dont care.
I hear from them and so I decided to try to go. I remember going straight from
work without eating. It is important to be there.
-Participant 0072
These participants appeared to come to the understanding that if they do not fight
for a better life as a community, nobody else will do it for them. It became the
responsibility of each member of the community to look after each other and to educate
one another on what is out there. Learning what is available to members of this
community seemed to be very difficult. With the constant fear of deportation, many
Latinos seemed to be afraid to talk about what opportunities are out there for their
children. By doing so, students and parents simply attended classes rather than
discovering that there are still opportunities for students to go to college. This reality of
living in fear has become a major issue for immigrant Latino families especially those
who live undocumented or in mix legal status households (Perez, Espinoza, Ramos,
Coronado, Cortes, 2009; Becerra, Androff, Cimino, Wagaman, & Blanchard, 2012).
To further this discussion of families dedication to their youths education it was
critical to understand their importance of unity. Participants continued to drill down on
the importance of community unity and that could serve as an education launching pad
for their youth educational success.


60
For this participants discussed:
And to educate ourselves about education, of what is happening here. Many of us
ignore it. We send the child to school and we dont know anything. To educate
ourselves and in that way having the knowledge of what is happening, and to be
able to accompany the parents, the schools so that our children have better access
to the services they offer. Many of us dont know there is help.
-Participant 100
How can I motivate my student, my kid so that they dont stop at high school?
One motivation that I have seen work is the example. I came here from my
country old, at 27 without any English. I learned English at 27. I took the GED
course in English and I passed it. I took classes at Ivy tech and I passed them.
That example when I tell my kids, why not them, who speak English, couldnt do
it? So I think that that is one has to do. To motivate them through example, give
them support. We see that Anglos and large institutions can give scholarships,
now we, the Hispanics of Goshen are thinking of gathering money to give
scholarships to undocumented students so that works as motivation. Thats all the
Hispanic student needs, motivation. They have talent, capacity, and intelligence.
-Participant 0138
Furthermore, this idea of unity and motivation really showed the true idea of how
to better the education and future of children from this area. On multiple occasions
participants called out for more unity in the community. They asked for a way to bring
people together, to talk, share experiences, and to help each other in a fear free
environment. By unifying the community there is hope for a better life for all members of
the society. As discussed in Parson, Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes (2011) the importance of
community of unity and its impact educational success was becoming more of focal point
for Latino families in north central Indiana. Specifically participants stated:
There is a saying that says you need to try to stop working to help the children
more. I have heard this a long time ago and I thought it was right but I never felt
it... If we get together as family, if we support each other, of course we can be a
bigger group, a group that listens to us. But let us not be a group that only speaks,
but that we are involved, that we help. You dont need to spend money for this.
-Participant 0105


61
I think there must be much more motivation from the parents towards the kids in
the theme of education. There are parents who never went to school, or did only
until third grade, so how can they encourage education if they never succeeded in
that area? The large majority of our kids come from parents who didnt have
anything there and came to find a life.
-Participant 0086
Through the research, the notion of social capital across all the system especially
at the micro, meso, exo, and macrosystem level was critical. The call for community
resembled (Rivas-Drake & Mooney, 2009) research that saw the importance of social
networks through community solidarity and unity as critical to Latino families and their
youth education success. This idea of unity and motivation in this community could
become the most impactful way to truly bring about aid to the educational barriers that
affect Latino youth in north central Indiana. This method does not require anything else
other than the grit and determination this population already exhibits. There is no need
for external circumstances to play a part in this success, only the hard work of the
community itself. In this way, children, parents, teacher, and principles can all work
together to greatly impact the lives of so many.
Unity and motivation within a community does not require money or that persons
all speak English. By simply using traditional beliefs of a collectivist society, information
about education can be shared to the masses. This access to knowledge about education
could lead to staggering results. Previous research has shown that the community was
speaking out for more social capital between the interaction between Latino families,
schools and communities (Lopez and Viramontez Anguiano, 2013). As documented in
previous research the importance of this capital along with cultural capital, human capital
and financial capital would serve as bridges to the youth educational success.


62
The majority of Anglo people here see us a certain way, but if we change that
view by helping each other, they will see us differently.
-Participant 0071
Yea, if a leader is giving a good guide, everything or everyone will follow
someone who is going through a good path. A good path is one of the values of a
Hispanic
-Participant 0072


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Chapter V
DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH
Previous research on this topic in Indiana has explored this population (Guzman,
Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan-Silva, 2011; Parson, M., Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes, 2011;
Reyes, Guzman, Jara, & Armet, 2011). This thesis focused on these ecological factors
that served as strengths or challenges in the educational success of the families and their
youth in north central Indiana. The objective of this study was to find which themes
affected the relation between the children of Latino immigrant children and the
educational attainment through the eyes of parents and leaders in the community.
Importantly, it seemed that the educational experiences of immigrant Latino youths
showed similarities between difficulties and strengths in the educational experience.
Specifically, this data showed the interactions between families and the
educational system. These interactions play an important part in the educational
attainment of Latino youth in north central Indiana. In this way it became important to
note that the theoretical frameworks of Urie Bronfenbrenners Ecological Systems
Model (1989) helped explain the ethnographic experiences within this community.
Thematic results showed direct relationships with the interactions between different
levels of the Ecological Systems Theory. Each theme was transcendent enough that the
entire model was addressed in the results. It became apparent that students educational
attainment was related with each of the five systems associated with the Ecological
Systems Model.
This acculturation process was demonstrated through parents stating their children
desires were to attend college or go to trade school to pursue their dreams. Tienda and


64
Haskins (2011) also stated that this educational development was crucial for students to
integrate into the society in the United States. Through this idea, the better the
educational experience is, the more likely that the student will be able to integrate and
have more future opportunities.
This study contributes to previous literature by finding key themes which can be
associated with the educational development of immigrant students in the United States.
It is believed that this data, though from a small part of the country, could be expanded
across the nation. From this study, four key themes emerged as a way to show the relation
between ecological factors and needs development. Each of these themes were based on
cultural relevancy and were specific to the educational experiences of Latino youth in
north central Indiana. These themes are important because with a lack of knowledge and
understanding of a population, it is imperative to understand what is available for this
community (Perez, Espinoza, Ramos, Coronado, Cortes, 2009). Creating a holistic
understanding of the population would possibly result in a better understanding of how to
help this population.
Limitations to this Study
This was a secondary data study which resulted in some limitations. One
limitation was that it was only possible for the researcher to look at the rich descriptions
from the original data and not to experience interactions with the participants. This can
unfortunately lead to quality information being left out or context being misinterpreted.
Also, original data was collected using Spanish rather than English. With data being
translated from Spanish to English, context and richness of the data can be lost. This


65
provides a way for direct translation to be slightly off while being able to maintain an
understanding of the true nature of the responses.
Another limitation to this study looks at a population that is so varied in culture
and traditions that it is impossible to create an all-encompassing experience of immigrant
Latino youth in the educational system in the United States. With a majority of the
participants coming from Mexico, many Mexican values outweighed other Latino
cultures. Due to this limitation rather than being a direct observation of Latino culture,
the current study was an illustration of the participants.
With a sample in one location, experiences outside this location are going to vary
as much as the population. Different areas are going to have different programs and
funding to help this population. For this reason, it would be hard to expand the exact
educational programs which are present in this study. It may be seen as beneficial to have
data from other locations to understand the broader context of education for Latinos in
the United States.
Strengths to this Study
A major strength of this study is the ethnographic methods and snowball sampling
process. This data leads to deep richness of Latino families in their educational
experience effects directs to deep meaningful results. These results provide a solid basis
for the true experiences encountered in north central Indiana. This data collection method
made it possible for cultural, linguistic, and social difficulties to be overcome. It is
important to note that with the difficulty of gaining quality information from delicate
populations, quality of responses can outweigh quantity of responses. With populations
such as this, trust and finding an actual representation of the target population are major


66
obstacles. This adds to the importance of creating deep, meaningful, and personal
relationships with the population.
As this population continues to grow, so will be the need to keep current
information available to better serve educational needs. One strength of this study is that
data was the result of three years of research. Due to the changing environment of this
population, there will be a need to continue new research on this population. For this
reason, it could be argued that this study will only be relevant for a shorter time as
compared to other studies. To combat this argument it is important to note that spreading
the ideas of this study as quickly as possible is key to implementation. This enables
research to be relevant and allow fellow researchers to spread conclusions and data. This
will add increasingly relevant conclusions and qualitative data for creation of intervention
programs for this population.
Interpretation of Results
Theme 1: Educational Cultural Differences between the United States and
Participants Homelands.
This theme illustrated the importance of culturally contextualizing and defining
the value of education. Data from this study demonstrated that Latinos identified two
types of education in their family context. One occurs in the home {education) and the in
a formal educational context in the classroom. The findings in this study demonstrated
that often parents struggled with mainstream educational systems. Moreover, the
discontinuity between education and education was apparent in the findings. This
research reinforced the previous literature that has documented the intersection between
Latino families, schools and communities (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011).


67
Unfortunately, 42% of Latinos in north central Indiana had less than a ninth grade formal
education level. As a result there was discontinuity between the Latino families and the
mainstream educational systems. The families were struggling to adjust to the cultural
differences in supporting their children to succeed. These findings were consistent with
the previous research that has documented this fragile balance between Latinos and
educational systems (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). Moreover, it was evident
that almost all the respondents were engaging in educacion within the larger familismo
value system which reinforced the importance of the family context and the collectivistic
nature of Latinos (Chaves-Korell, Benson-Florez, Rendon, & Farias, 2013).
What comes from the data is the importance to build up the importance of formal
education and parental involvement in formal education. While working with this
population, it is important to acknowledge the difference between education and
educacion. Participants stated that many times parents were not making aiding their
children's formal education a priority. More investigation in this area will need to
demonstrate the importance utilizing both of these concepts to better the educational
attainment of Latino youth in north central Indiana. Drawing cultural connections to the
idea of educacion to formal education could produce significant gains in parental
involvement and educational experiences.
Theme 2: Adversity in Access to Educational Resources.
Previous research has demonstrated that parental involvement is key in the
development of educational attainment of Latino children (Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, &
Carolan-Silva, 2011). The findings from this study demonstrated that for Latino parents,
being involved was often a struggle as a result of their legal status or lack of formal


68
education. Often parents shared that they were frustrated with circumstances surrounding
their children's education. As a result of language and other differences, parents were not
able to access all the educational resources that were made to them by the school districts.
An important finding related to the theme accessing education was the critical
educational outreach that the school liaisons were providing for the immigrant Latino
families in north central Indiana. As documented by the families the school liaison was
not only their cultural and linguistic adviser, but rather this person served as an advocate
for their families in the school and the community. This finding contributed to the
literature by demonstrating the critical relationship between mesosystems and how school
personnel can serve as a vital role in Latino families and their youth education. Moreover,
for some Latino families the liaison often served as a translator and educational gate-
keeper. By doing so, the school liaisons became part of the collective Latino reality in
north central Indiana. This finding has rarely been documented in the research and
warrants further investigation in the family and education literature.
These school liaisons were certainly an intricate part of the access to educational
resources. This study also demonstrated that many times these liaisons were unable to
reach all students that needed aid. Liaison's reported that the schools were overwhelmed
with the amount of students and the availability of parents. Participants stated that while
gang violence was occurring, there was not enough help from the liaisons. While
comparing the perceptions of both parents and liaisons, there is an obvious disconnect.
Both sides show distain about the amount of assistance being presented to this
community. Rather than blaming each other, more research with school liaisons and


69
Latino families is needed to see how more programs can be created to better serve Latino
students in north central Indiana.
Theme 3: Public Policy and Perception.
The public policy and perceptions in north central Indiana were divided. Data
from this studied showed that some of the mainstream people were still unwilling to fully
accept the immigrant Latino families in the region. They often were not responsive to
aiding this community through separating themselves from the Latino community.
Previous research stated that this community also held the same beliefs by voting for anti-
immigration policies (Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes and Chavez, 2013).
However, the majority of the mainstream community and schools were not only
accepting, but also often aided these families in the acculturation process. The finding
showed policies and practices that often aided the families and their children in learning
English and providing educational services. This finding was consistent with other
research that has demonstrated when mainstream communities are more empathetic the
more successful the newly arrived immigrant population (Messerli, 2008).
The findings demonstrated that the policies and practices did not come without
controversy. In particular the ENL program which would be considered the exosystem
was often debated by the Latinos. Although most of the families valued the programs
services they disagreed on how long Latinos should be enrolled in the program. For some
parents they believed that this program was separating their children from the more
rigorous curriculum and maintaining the current status quo. This finding contributed to
the literature by demonstrating that policies and practices should take into consideration
the diversity of learners within Latino student population.


70
The ENL program will continue be a target of discrepancy until something is
changed. There is no clear answer on how to change this problem. As children immigrate
into the region at different ages, students access and knowledge of English will vary as
well. Future research is needed to see the effects of integrating the Latino population into
the mainstream society. Data suggested that this program represents the goals of the
community. Many mainstream citizens are willing to help while others are trying to
separate the Latino population. Through integrating the Latino population while attending
classes with mainstream students, perception of both Latinos and mainstream students
who are not willing to accept this population may change.
Theme 4: Cultural Desire to Better Ones Family.
This theme demonstrated that the participants of this study aimed to better their
lives through education, motivation, and unity within the community. Tienda and Haskins
(2011) support evidence for this theme by stating that many Latino families found hope
for a better life in the United States. The current study furthered this claim as it was a
belief that through this education, there would be more opportunities available for their
children than in their homelands. Tienda Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones-Correa (2000),
state that this concept has been around for decades. Participants from the current study
stated that their lives were difficult and that they must work to better their situations.
Participants seemed disappointed when other Latino youth were not pushing themselves
educationally. This collectivist nature is well documented and acts as a strength of the
community (Chavez-Korell, Benson-Florez, Rendon, & Farias, 2013). In this manner it
was the goal of the community to encourage Latino students educationally.


71
Evidence from this study acknowledged a desire by participants to be involved in
their children's education. This parental involvement was important culturally to the
participants. This finding expands on previous research from Guzman, Reyes, Palacios,
& Carolan-Silva (2011) who found similar findings. Through this parental involvement,
the families were reinforcing and requesting more motivation for their children in their
education. Many participants felt that due to their documentation status, they must live in
a state of fear while in the United States. This fear demonstrated that many participants
were calling for unity within the community. Participants stated that they wanted a place
to sit and share ideas without fear of documentation status to understand what resources
were available to them.
For Future Theoretical and Practice Based Research
Future research should implement culturally relevant practices when investigating
the educational experience of Latino children/youth and how this affects educational
attainment. For example theoretical based research could utilize Maslow's Hierarchy of
Needs (1943). This theoretical research could provide evidence of growth for Latino
families in north central Indiana in their educational experience. Specifically in this study
and the larger Latino family research project data provided evidence that the more
positive the educational experience, the greater the student seemed to develop
educationally (Appendix D).
Preliminary findings in this study found evidence that the less the student was
adapting to the educational experience, the more foundational levels of need were not
obtained. This was reported by the parents by stating that their children only believed that
they would be able to work in the factories and did not pursue their own interests.


72
Previous studies, including Tienda and Haskins (2011), stated that this is common with
new immigrants as they focus on providing economic support for their families. Another
preliminary finding stated students that were more acculturated to the educational system
in the United States appeared to be able to achieve higher levels of need such as Self-
Actualization.
Future applied research is needed to provide evidence that implementing cultural
relevance would affect the growth associated with the Hierarchy of Needs. Children need
a way to see that what theyre learning is relevant to their future. By implementing values
that they see at home, this connection can be made. This research could include using
ideas offamilismo, education, and respecto within the classroom. Maintaining cultural
values plays an important part in the social development of Latino youth and teachers can
implement the same values into the classroom. This could greatly affect the motivation of
Latino students by drawing connections between education in the home and education in
the classroom.
Also, implementing culturally relevant ideas such as Latino based religion and
spirituality into coursework may also create intrinsic motivation to do better in school.
Though this implementation could be controversial, the value of religion was mentioned
twenty times as a key strength within this community. It is hypothesized that using
religious morals with this population could affect disciplinary issues positively. Future
research with this idea could identify religious (especially Catholic) morals and
implement them into the classroom. Even if beliefs in religion and spirituality are not
mentioned the morals behind this belief could have profound educational implications for
this population.


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Implications and Conclusion
This study demonstrates that there are difficulties and strengths associated with
education of Latino youth in north central Indiana. With this research, there can be added
hope for future educational experiences of Latino youth. Teachers, community members
and political figures can use this research as a way to see the ecological factors that are
affecting the educational development of Latino students. It is important to understand
that the education of a student is not simply based on what occurs in the classroom, but
rather the access of the family to aid this student. Barriers that can affect this
development are the parents education, language, and the access to educational resources
to name a few. While looking at this data, it appeared that there are many participants
were seeking to better their education, but simply do not know how to receive this aid.
When students, teachers, community leaders, and principles work together, this access to
information becomes a reality.
The lasting contribution that came from this research study was the call for
motivation and unity by this population. This call for unity crossed both strengths and
difficulties. Rather, it was a dream and a goal for a better life for this community.
Community members made it apparent that they wanted a way to get people together free
from fear to discuss what is available and how to work together. By doing so, all people
within this community would benefit. Teachers would be better able to understand what
diverse students need. Parents would know how to get involved regardless and cultural,
educational, or socioeconomic status. Public officials would look at how to structure the
educational policy to address needs of the culturally diverse communities. By providing
this help students may receive additional motivation to succeed in school. This would


74
only better their educational attainment and their eventual future success. Unity in the
community seems like a very basic idea, but it takes the collective efforts of many people
to reach this goal.
Once this is accomplished, it may be beneficial to look at implementing diverse
cultural beliefs into the educational system. Families showed that values and morals were
very important in rearing their children from an early age. As found in this study by
implementing traditional relevant information into education, Latino students may be
able to draw more meaning and relevance to educational materials. Also, when a student
educationally succeeds a teacher could rely on using culturally significant beliefs to better
ones self to provide impactful motivation for students. Using diverse cultural curriculum
in the classroom would modify the mainstream model of education to make a better fit
for new Latino immigrants in United States. Utilizing diverse curriculums alongside
mainstream curriculum would help Latino, especially immigrant students make the
transition from education from the students homelands. In turn, the educational
atmosphere would then be more culturally relevant and better equipped for promoting
advanced educational attainment of Latino students.


75
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82
APPENDIX
APPENDIX A: University of Colorado Denver; Colorado Multiple Institutional
Review Board Approval
l> irorjhy of Coorado
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13001 E. 17th Ptea, BuMnsSOO, fta<*rtNS214
Aumm. Cttorld 00045
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303.7241199a |pB4
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University of Colorado Hospital
Denver Health Medical Center
Veteran's Administration Medical Center
Children's Hospital Colorado
University of Colorado Denver
Colorado Prevention Center
Certificate of Exemption
D2-Jun-2G15
Investigator: Jordan Arellanes
Subject: COMIRB Protocol 15-0673 Initial Application
Review Date: 5tfV2015
Effective Date: Q3-May-2D15
Anticipated Completion Date: D7-May-2D1S
Sponsors): No Sponsor-
Tide: The Examination of Latino Youth Education Through Ecological Factors In North Central Indiana
Exempt Category : 4
Submission ID: APPO01-2
SUBMISSION DESORPTION:
Irvtial Exempt Submission; Response to Minor Modifications
You- COMIRB Initial siiwnission APPG01-2 has been APPROVED FOR EXEMPTION. Periodic contruing review is
not required. For the duration of your protocol, any change in the experimental design/content/personnei of this study
must be approved by COMIRB before implementation of the (Ganges.
The anticipated completion date of this protocol is Q7-May-2D18. COM IRB wil administratively dose this project on this
date unless otherwise instructed by e-mail to COMIRB@ucdenver.eckj. If the project is completed prior to this date, please
notify the COMIRB office in writing or by e-mail once the project has been dosed.
Study personnel are approved to conduct the research as described to the documents approved by COMIRB, which are
Ssted below the REVIEW DETAILS section. Please carefully review the REVIEW DETAILS section because COMIRB may
have made red-line changes (Le. revisions) to the submitted documents prior to approving them. The investigator can
submit an amendment to revise the documents if the investigator does not agree with the recHtoe changes. The REVIEW
DETAILS section may also include important information from the reviewers) and COMIRB staff.
COMIRB stamps the approved versons of documents in the top right hand comer. Stamped copies of documents are


83
APPENDIX B: Latino Family Interview Protocol
Latino Family Protocol
Demographic Information
1 Male______/Female_______
2 Years of Education Completed_________: Degree/Diploma________, Latin
America___________and or United States______
3 Age_______
4 Occupation____________
5 How many children do you have_______
6 What is your ethnic background? Latino, please be specific__________,
European American__________, African American____________, Asian
American/Asian Pacific Islander_____________, Native
American___________________, Other_____________.
Family Perspective
7. Please describe what your experience has been like in the___community?
Please provide examples?
8. If you work, please describe how your work experience has been? Please provide
examples?
9. If you are not from Northeast Indiana, how have you adapted to this region?
Please provide examples?
10. If you are from Northeast Indiana, please describe your experiences from living in
this region? Please provide examples?
11. Please describe your family values and beliefs?
12. What do you consider to be important Latino family values and beliefs?
13. How have your values impacted your education and life?
14. What does education and educacion mean to you? How are they different?
15. What do you consider to be a quality education? Can you provide me an example?
16. What does compassion mean to you? How can a Latino be compassionate?
17. What does character mean to you? What does character mean when describing a
Latino?


84
18. What does competence mean to you? What does competence mean when
describing a Latino?
19. What does community servant-hood mean to you? What does serving the
community mean when describing a Latino?
20. How do Latino children learn about serving and leading from their families?
Please provide examples?
21. What are important values that Latino families pass on to their children about
serving and leading? Please provide examples?
22. What is the role of Latino families in the educational success of their Latino
youth?
23. What is the role of Latino families in the educational success of other Latino
children in the schools and the Latino community?
24. Explain the relationship you have with your childs school? Please provide
examples of your interactions with the school?


85
APPENDIX C: Latino Family Consent Form
Center for Intercultural
Teaching and Learning (CITL)
1700 South Main Street
Goshen, Indiana 46526
GOSHEN
p574.535.7800
f574.535.7840
COLLEGE
www.citl.goshen.edu
General Adult Informed Consent Letter
Hello my name is Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano and I am an Associate Professor and
Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning at Goshen
College and I am conducting a study on Latino families and education in Northeast
Indiana. Specifically, this study will focus on understanding how different ecological
factors including but not limited to family-cultural values, family involvement,
community involvement and leadership, educational involvement and leadership,
educational and social policies, migration and immigration realities and economic factors
impact the educational motivation and success of Latino students at the pre-college,
transition to college and college levels in Northeastern Indiana. This study will benefit
the scholarly research by extending the Latino family and educational research in the
Midwest. Moreover, another benefit of the study is that the findings could aid helping
professionals in the community and student services professionals who serve Latino
students in Northeastern Indiana. This research will be conducted through sound
culturally sensitive research. We hope that you will participate in our study. Your
participation in the study is voluntary and at anytime during the study you may withdraw.
The risks of this study are no greater than those normally encountered in everyday life.
Thus, individuals who identify themselves as Latinos/as, community members and/or
leaders who serve the Latino community and school personnel who serve students and
their families are eligible for the study. You will be asked to participate potentially in one
or more of the following interviews depending on your availability and if the interview or
observation pertains to you. Those interviews include one hour open-ended interviews,
focus groups or an observation. We would also appreciate it if we could audio record
your interview. Interviews will be conducted in Spanish or English depending on your
preference. The interviews will be conducted in an available and safe location for both
the respondent and the researcher. The audiotapes will be transcribed and translated so
that the data can be used to write research manuscripts, research reports, create
presentations and for other work related to the research.


86
I will make every effort to preserve your confidentiality. Your interview and the
audiotape from your interview will be kept in a locked filing cabinet in my office. Only
my research team and myself will see the collected data. Information from this research
will be used solely for the purpose of this study, publications, and any presentation or
work that may result from it. All research material will be stored and eventually included
in an archive. Your name will not be used in the research or the archive at any time
during the study or any other work related to the research. Only gender will be used to
identify individuals. Also only gender will be used in the archived information.
If you have any questions about the research, please contact me at ********* if yOU
have questions about the conduct of this study or rights as a research participant you may
contact the Director/Research Compliance Officer at Goshen College at (**********)
Thank you for your time and if you agree to participate in the study please print and sign
your name.
Participants Printed Name
Date
Participants Signature
Date


APPENDIX D: Thesis Diagram
Diagram 1
t''
00
Macrosystem
Exosy 'stem Self- Actualization
/ \ \ \
Mesosystem
Microsystem
Theme 2 Theme 3 Theme 4 > Results In
Chro nosystem
Greater Amount of Strengths
Results In
f
Fewer Amount of Difficulties
Fewer Amou nt of Strengths
i k
r
Greater Amount of Difficulties
Esteem
Social
Safety
Physical
Greater educational attainment
due to progression of needs
development from Physical (i.e.
lack of food resulting from low
socioeconomic status) to Self-
Actualization (i.e. realizing personal
potential orgraduatlng high school)
Less educational attainment due to
lack of progression in needs
development from Physical (i.e. lack
of food resulting from low
socioeconomic status) to Self-
Actualization (i.e. realizing personal
potential or graduating high school)


Full Text

PAGE 1

THE EXAMINATION O F LATINO YOUTH EDUCATION THROUGH ECOLOGICAL FACTORS IN NORTH CENTRAL INDIANA by JORDAN ALAN ARELLANES B.S Colorado State University A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado i n partial fulfillment o f th e requirements for the degree Masters of Arts Educational Psychology 2015

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ii This t hesis for the Master of Arts d egree by Jordan Alan Arellanes h as been approved for the School of Education and Human Development by Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano Chair Patty Meek Rene Galindo Date 0 8/13 / 20 15

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iii Arellanes, Jordan Alan (M.A. Educational Psychology) The Examination of Latino Youth Education Through Ecological Factors In North Central Indiana Thesis direc ted by Associate Professor Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano AB S TR ACT The Latino population of north central Indiana has to overcome distinct obstacles unique to this area. Most of these families come from low socioeconomic status and come from a variety of homelands. This study looks at what factors are affecting the educational attainment of Latino youth who s e families are recent immigrants to the Unit ed States Previous research has looked at how to address the needs of the families and what a ffects the educational attainment of Latino you th in this area. This study looks at the strengths and difficulties that this population handles on a daily basis. Secondary data was used for the purposes of this thesis. For this study 40 families consisting of 63 participants were interviewed after a three year ethnographic study. The sample also included 7 school liaisons. Qualitative data was analyzed by finding factors that were exhibited through this study. Results provide four common themes throughout the research. These themes are a way to see transcendent information across different aspects of society. This form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication Approved: Ruben Viramontez Anguiano

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iv DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to all of those first generation college students who are trying to better themselves through education. It is my goal that this thesis provides you hope and motivation to accomplish all of you r goals. I also dedicate this thesis to my family who have provided for me since birth. I know that without them I would not be able to achieve any of my goals

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v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without His guidance none of this would be possible and all my efforts would be for not. In addition I have been blessed to work with many individuals who have had a direct impact on my life My family: I would like to thank m y parents Jeff and Janiene Arellanes who have always been there for me. My parents have been my constant source of love and support. They have guided me through all of my goals and challenges. Without them I would not have accomplished any of my goals or ambitions. I would also like to thank my brother Adam for his constant belief in me and for helping me make decisions on my future endeavors. I want t hank you Brad for continuing my hard work in college and making an impact on so many lives A huge thank you to the rest of my family I appreciate your support I am so blessed to have been surrounded by such loving and caring individuals Dr. Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano: Dr. Anguiano has not only acted as my thesis chair but a s the best mentor and friend a ny graduate student could ask for. He has provided so much time and dedication toward my academic success H is actions have been a model for the professor I hope to be one day. My committee members: Thank you for your efforts as role models and the opport unities you have provided for me I know this is a lot of work and I am so gracious for all you have done. Thank you all for pushing me past my limits and making me into the student I am today. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you. Dr. Sarah Ha rrison: Thank you for reviewing my thesis and editing this information. Your efforts have gone above and beyond any thing I could have asked for. You have helped me so much over the last two years and I am so indebted for your assistance. Dr. Barbara Seide l: Dr. Seidel's trust in my work has pushed me to new heights. I am now directly prepared to continue this work and to make an impact on children and adolescents through her efforts. Dr. Jen Krafchick & Dr. Toni Zimmerman: Their work and passion has directed me on my future ca reer goals. Without their visions and dedication to working with underserved youths, I may have never realized my true calling in life. My Friends: Thank you Rock Adcock, Nate Cusack, Bri Flage o ll e Megan Martinez, Katie Pennell, Kramer Peter, Melody Rautenstaus, Zack Samar, and so many others. Thank you all for supporting me on the hard days and celebrating the good. You all have made this experience so wonderful and I cannot thank you enough for you r friendship. To my Pi Kappa Alpha fraterni ty brothers Phi Phi Kappa Alpha and I appreciate the support The Lilly Endowment : Thank you for your support in funding the Latino Family Research project through grant No. 2006 1434 000. Without this work this thesis would have never been realized and so many voices may have gone unheard.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 1 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 1 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 3 Guiding Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............ 3 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ................. 4 Defi nitions and Terms ................................ ................................ ..................... 4 Personal Identification of the Topic ................................ ................................ 5 II. LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ..................... 10 Historical Impact within the Latino Culture Across the United States ......... 10 Latino Education in the United States ................................ ........................... 13 Familismo and Education ................................ ................................ .............. 17 Hi storical Impact in North Central Indiana ................................ ................... 18 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ .................. 21 Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory ................................ .. 22 ................................ ................... 24 The Necessity to Aid Latino Youth in American Culture ............................. 27 III. METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 30 Research Design ................................ ................................ ............................ 30 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 31 Families ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 31 School Liaisons ................................ ................................ ......................... 32 Role of the Researcher ................................ ................................ ................... 33

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vii Primary R esearcher ................................ ................................ ................... 33 Secondary Researcher through the University of Colorado Denver ......... 34 Interview Protocol ................................ ................................ ......................... 35 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ 35 Procedures ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 37 Original Study ................................ ................................ ........................... 37 Secondary Data Procedures University of Colorado Denver ................... 38 IV. FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 39 Thematic Findings ................................ ................................ ......................... 39 Theme 1: Educational Cultural Differences between the United States and ................................ ................................ .......... 43 Theme 2: Adversity in Access to Educational Success. ........................... 48 Theme 3: Policy, Practice and Perception. ................................ ............... 52 ................................ ... 56 V. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH ................................ 63 Limitations to this Study ................................ ................................ ................ 64 Strengths to this Study ................................ ................................ ................... 65 Interpretation of Results ................................ ................................ ................ 66 Theme 1: Educational Cultural Differences between the United States and ................................ ................................ .......... 66 Theme 2: Adversity in Access to Educat ional Resources. ....................... 67 Theme 3: Public Policy and Perception. ................................ ................... 69 ................................ ... 70

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viii For Future Theoretical and Practice Based Research ................................ .... 71 Implications and Conclusion ................................ ................................ ......... 73 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 75 APPENDIX ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 82 A: University of Col orado Denver; Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board Approval ................................ ................................ ............................. 82 B: Latino Family Interview Protocol ................................ ............................. 83 C: Latino Family Consent Form ................................ ................................ .... 85 D: Thesis Diagram ................................ ................................ ......................... 87

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ix LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Table of Self Reported Strengths within the Latino Community, In Chapter 3 and refere 2. Table of Self Reported Difficulties within the Latino Community, In Chapter 3 and referen

PAGE 10

1 CHAPTER I I NTRODUCTION Overview In the United States thousands of Latino children struggle to thrive academically. Many of these students are primarily focused on physiological needs, such as having enough food through the day, rather than focusing time and effort on academic attainment. When the pressure to get through each d ay surmounts, it hinders the development of academic and career goals. Approximately 70% of language minority students come from low socioeconomic status (Samson & Lesaux, 2015). When students are placed in underserved situations, school can become an afte rthought. This leads underserved students to develop low academic achievement goals (Rivera, 2014). Many times, even when these students reach out for help, they cannot receive aid due to a lack of understanding and associability. When students are undoc umented, this access can be even further diminished due a lack of social connections based on fear of legal status (Perez, Espinoza, Ramos, Coronado, Cortes, 2009). Latino students can hesitate to reach educational dreams such as attending college because of a fear of financial costs as well as an unrealistic perception of what college is and how to get there (Rivera, 2014). This lack of understanding and policy is an issue within many different realms of education. Administrators and teachers are often una ware of what resources are available or whom can qualify for them. Teachers report a lack of capability to teach students when language is an issue (Samson & Lesaux, 2015). Samson and Lesaux (2015) also state that of these teachers,

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2 many do not have adequa te certification to work with this population. These teachers only increase risk factors associated with students who do not speak English Undocumented students share similar educational risk factors, but also face constant institutional and societal excl usion and rejection due to legal barriers (Passel, 2006). Even when undocumented students are educationally high achieving, students have to actively seek out educational opportunities (Rivera, 2014). Many times, students do not have the time or access to educational resources which would afford them the ability to seek out and further their education (Rivera 2014). Studies show that students can lose motivation as access to education diminishes. When there is a lack of educational goals, motivation to com plete their schooling decreases (Arbona & Jimenez 2014). School then becomes a chore rather than a means for success. These students have higher rates of stress and lower perception of acceptance at college (Arbona & Jimenez, 2014). This perception that co llege is unattainable diminishes academic desires. The impact of lower educational attainment can have long lasting effects. Rivera (2014) stated that different factors such as positive peer interactions and environmental resources have a significant r esult on academic attainment. Academic attainment is very important on future success. Rivera (2014) also stated that with lower educational attainment has a direct relationship with lower levels of future income Research has shown that academic attainmen t is impacted by language, immigration status, and access to community programs (Samson & Lesaux, 2015). This research demonstrates that improving academic attainment for Latino youth will have long lasting effects on future career success.

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3 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this s tudy was to explore the barriers that were affecting the educational attainment of Latino s in north central Indiana. These barriers were identified based on frequency thematic results. Specific barriers included: language, legal status, political policy, lack of access to educational resources, and parental comfortablility (level of parental comfort) Other cultural factors were identified, in particular, a call for unity and co uple These cultural factors were combined with other strength factors to create an encompassing identity of the Latino educational experience. Research conducted for this study focused on family and school liaisons. This study focused on the perception of the educational system of family and school liaisons. Parti cipant s families all had children who were currently in the educational system of the United States of America. This study looked at participant s strengths and difficulties through a qualitative ethnographic method. This research demonstrated the importance of exposing the experiences of underserved Latino youth in the United States Guiding Research Questions Guiding research questions for this study come from the Latino family research project collected by Goshen College funded by the Lil ly Endowment Responses were collected after a three year ethnographic research study. All procedures were used in conjunction with Creswell (2003) qualitative methodology. This method captures traditional perspectives and newer advocacy, participant, and self reflexive perspectives of qualitative research (Creswell, 2003). Variables were selected for their richness in

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4 understanding the difficulties and strengths within the educational system for undocumented Latino immigrants in north central Indiana. 1) How are cultural differences between Latino participant homelands and the United States affecting the educational attainment of students? 2) Do participants with greater perception of the educational experience have higher levels of educational attainment? 3) How are ecological factors including political policy and practices impacting desire for Latino families to better their education? Significance of the Study This study specifically examines a population that is underrepresented in research. The lack of research about this community puts a great significance on what knowledge is available for this community (Perez, Espinoza, Ramos, Coronado, Cortes, 2009). This topic is specifically relevant as immigration and population growth of the Latino population continues in the United States Due to the lack of resources and threat of legal action, the number of undocumented immigrants is unknown. In 2005, there was an estimated 1.8 million un documented Latino s in the United States in 2005 (Passel, 2006). As this population continues to grow, the significance of this research will expand exponentially (Perez, et al., 2009). The eventual goal of this additional research and awareness would be so that more Latino students will be given the opportunity to gain higher levels of educational attainment. Definitions and Terms Educational attainment: The highest level of education completed. Ethnography: Longitudinal study of customs and traditions of a specific population.

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5 Familismo : The shared collectivist cultural belief of reciprocity, loyalty, and solidarity in the family unit. Latino /a Chicano and Hispanic: For the purposes of this essay, the term H ispanic will be used intermittently with Latino This is not because these two cultures are the same, but rather that educational statistics use the term Hispanic over Latino The term Chicano was also not readily used in previous research For that reason Chicano will not be used in accordance with the data. Underrepresented/at risk: For the purposes of this study only underrepresented will be used. At risk was not chosen due to the negative connotation and broad spectrum of use of this term. The only tim e this term is used is for work alongside Campus Corps as this is the term they have chosen to use. Underrepresented refers to all individuals whom have not received equivalent research or access to resources as a mainstream society. Undocumented Immigrant s : Individuals who have come to the United States without proper documentation or who have stayed past their allotted legal residency Personal Identification of the Topic To help develop a personal connection to this topic, it is important to understand t he history of the author of this essay. I (Jordan Arellanes) do not consider myself Latino but instead come from Hispanic ancestry. From my ancestry, I can sympathize and have witnessed some of the hardships that Latino students have had to overcome. My f side comes from the state of New Mexico where Spanish and Mexican families have integrated for centuries. Unfortunately, poverty and low graduation rates are still prevalent in this area. Specifically New Mexico has a 70% high school graduation rat e when the national average is 81% (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2015). This

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6 makes New Mexico the third least academically successful territory in the United States (only behind the District of Columbia and Oregon). My paternal ancestors pri marily fell victim to the hardships that run rampant in New Mexico. A majority of my family were lower middle long history of ranching in Nebraska and into southern Colorado. They too received very little formal e ducation. I am the first person in my family to receive a college education. That being said, I will not be able to fully connect to the hardships that some Latino youth go through on a daily basis. Due to my privileges in language, family support, and th e gift of having legal US citizen parents, I recognize I come from a position of privilege and power. This privilege has granted me the access and opportunity to work alongside this community. Having this privilege has allowed me to see just how different my life could have been just by the situation I was born into. It now becomes my duty to do my best to help bring aid to all people and place them in a position of privilege as well. The main reason I advocate for the aid of Latino adolescents through edu cational attainment is from first hand experiences with this population. I was an intern as well as a mentor coach through Campus Corps: Therapeutic Mentoring of At Risk Youth (Campus Corps). This program is run by Dr. Toni Zimmerman, Dr. Jen Krafchick, Dr Lindsey Weiler and Dr. Shelly Haddock in Fort Collins, Colorado. Campus Corps brings in at risk youth (as termed by their research) from the community and gives them the opportunity to grow and learn from qualified college students. These students are se lected after a rigorous selection process, which demonstrates their passion and qualifications as a

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7 mentor to work with at risk youth. Once selected, mentors are paired with a mentee. Mentees are children and adolescents aged 10 18, which have been sent th rough the criminal justice system, referred by a school teacher/counselor, or are self referred/returning mentees. To derive a better understanding of the effects that have occurred with these youth, I have interviewed Dr. Jen Krafchick. Dr. Krafchick alon g with Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Haddock were the original creators of Campus Corps. These three professors at Colorado State University were presented with a rare opportunity. There was need in the community to develop a program to aid a growing population of at risk youth (J. Krafchick, personal communication, March 12, 2014). Campus Corps became the city of March 12, 2014) became astonished by the influx of support and compassion that was given to the program. Research and community support was so great that within the first year (2008 2009), the program had more than doubled in size. Campus Corps focused on helping underserved children grow into healthy adults through a care free environment. Evidence demonstrated that youth continue to show social and emotional development, but also some students were even able to take on leadership roles within Campus Corps (Weiler, Zimmerman, Haddock, & Krafchick, 2014). To give an ex ample of this leadership, one returning youth had been involved a couple of semesters and had earned the trust and respect of the program. She volunteered to give a presentation on bullying in the classroom. At the end of her presentation, she asked how ma ny of the students in the class had been a victim of bullying. Every student in the class raised their hand. To bring this problem to the forefront of her school, she

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8 passed out plain white t shirts to the class. She then gave the students drawing material s to create anti bullying t shirts to wear in school. The group of students who were involved in this activity all wore their shirts to class on the following Monday. The impact these shirts had in class is unknown, but the message was received very well w ithin Campus Corps. Having an at risk youth conduct a presentation in front of peers on the effects of bullying left an impact on the rest of the students, as there were very few to no reports of bullying within the program the remainder of the semester. E xamples like this are becoming more and more common as the program continues to advance. This then leaves the question of how does a mentor program such as Campus Corps develop academic success? Rhodes (2005), states that more proactive and sustained integ ration of research at all stages [of a mentoring program] will be pivotal for developing more scientifically informed and effective programs and for ensuring that such programs are disseminated with efficiency and high fidelity. I hypothesize that promotin g reward based material will be the most effective way of correcting this problem. This program relates to the current study because it demonstrates evidence that members of an underserved community can change. This provides hope and a reason to continue r esearching underserved youth. When students affiliated with gangs, drugs, and other forms of delinquency have positive peers and role models, a world of po ssibilities opens up for them ( J. Krafchick personal communication, March 12, 2014). Dr. Krafchick (p ersonal communication, March 12, 2014) continued by stating how even some of the hardest gangsters would go home over the weekend and want to play games like hopscotch because of how much fun they had at Campus Corps. Campus Corps

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9 provides evidence that wh en students are placed into the right situations, emotional and social development will occur. Without programs and statistical evidence such as Campus Corps, the educational goals of many underserved youths (similar to those in north central Indiana) woul d remain unattainable.

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10 CHAPTER II L ITERATURE REVIEW Historical Impact within the Latino Culture Across the United States The Latino population is the fasting growing minority group coming to the United States (Armstrong & Rosbrook Thompson, 2010). This population is expected to grow to 55 million people with an estimated annual spending power of $170 billion (Armstrong & Rosbrook Thompson, 2010). According to the PEW Research Center (2013), 76% of Hispanic respondents reported that immigration was either extremely important or very important to them (the two highest categories). As of 2011, up to 40% of Latino s living in the United States are foreign born (Rocha & Matsubayashi, 2012). This leaves one in four Latino s living in the Un ited States with an immigrant parent (Tienda & Haskins, 2011). Because this population has such high numbers of undocumented immigrants, political policy can have a great impact on their well being. Immigration reform is constantly being discussed within t he United States For some people, illegal immigration presents a large cultural problem. Some traditional Latino cultural identities do not fully fit into mainstream American society. This difference in culture can lead to racial issues and discrimination of the Latino culture. This divergence between mainstream Americans and underrepresented Latinos has considerably impacted the job market. This ever expanding group is looked at as encroaching on traditional American beliefs and culture. For this reason, immigration is prominently in the political history of both Latinos and within the last twenty years has become a major political issue across all of America (Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones Correa, 2000). This political pressure is only increased by the lack of political resources

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11 available to non citizen Latino s. Normally, citizens can show their political preferences/power and report their opinions to their senators. On the other hand, politicians need votes to regain their elected positions. This lea ves more political power to those who can vote for a politician over anyone who cannot. If a politician is forced to side between two different opinions, the politician will follow the side that has more political power to re elect their position. With the lack of political power comes lack of representation of non citizen Latino s, especially when political issues are adverse to the traditional beliefs of Anglo Ame ricans (Rocha and Matsubayashi, 2012). This political tussle has been well documented and will continue to be an issue as long as immigration is a controversial topic. The immigration of Latino s has a long history in the United States Since the mainstream Anglo culture reached the shores of California, immigration of Latino s into traditional Euro pean American culture has been an issue. At first, immigration into the United States was welcome, especially for people of European descent. Originally, people of Hispanic descent were expected to live in America as the United States h ad purchased the wes t from Mexico (Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones Correa, 2000). European settlers were the original minority. As time went on, immigration became more and more of an issue. Immigration of Latino s was somewhat masked until after the movement lead by African Americans shadowed immigration reform in America. The Immigration and Naturalization Law was passed in 1 965. According to Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones Correa (2000), this law granted an influx of permanent residency and isolated undocumented immigrants currently in the United States This

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12 created two main pillars in Latino culture, the US bo rn and the undocumented residents in the United States (Rivas Drake & Mooney, 2009). By 1986, the growing number of illegal immigrants became a major public concern. This led to the creation of the Immigration and Control Act. This act created the opportu nity for three million Latino s to become legal residents in the United States More importantly this political movement led to naturalization for these Latino (Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones Correa, 2000). During this time, documented imm igrants began to convey cultural identities and instigated showing power at the ballot boxes. Legal immigrant groups show ed more political power and representation as the numbers asso ciated with this group increased Undocumented immigrant populations did not show this political representation (Rocha and Matsubayashi, 2012). The struggles that began in 1986 created a growing number of naturalized citizens which, in turn, developed the modern political issues between Latino s and mainstream society. In 1996, the United States passed the Welfare Reform Act. This act limited permanent residents from gathering welfare and limited housing by creating minimum salary sponsorship requirements (Vega & Despradel, 1999). These requirements made it so that U.S. citizens had to maintain a certain income to sponsor or aid in housing transitional immigrating Latino families. Statistics from this act showed that up to 40% of migrating Dominicans who came over to the United States before 1996 would not be able to afford this transition any longer (Vega & Despradel, 1999). Within the last ten years, immigration has specifically targeted the United States /Mexico border. This targeting has resulted in higher security along the border and in Border States. Border agents have incre asingly been going on raids in the workplace to

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13 find illegal immigrants (Thronson, 2008). These raids can separate a family, which has created fear within the Latino culture (Becerra, Androff, Cimino, Wagaman, & Blanchard, 2012). The fear of having a famil y member deported is a traumatic experience which can have long lasting consequences. These effects can be especially damaging to children of ill egal immigrants (Becerra, et. a l., 2012). Many of these children are still too young to fully understand why th eir parents are targets of border control agents. Even today a there is a struggle associated with the Latino culture and immigration. The issues previously discussed have had a direct impact upon Latino youth in the United States (Passel, 2006). Latino Education in the United States Due to the ecological status of discrimination that Latino families undergo, there is need to aid this community throughout the lifespan. In this way, it becomes necessary to look at the educational disadvantages Latino stu dents undergo on a day to day basis. A study conducted by Quirk, Nylund Gibson, & Furlong (2013) showed that 67% of Latino children were rated in the bottom three areas for school readiness. These children were monitored in preschool through second grade f or their growth and academic achievement. From the sample, 28% of the Latino youth were evaluated as extremely low (the lowest level of attainment) in their readiness to advance to elementary school (Quirk, Nylund Gibson, & Furlong, 2013). These low marks show that there is a critical need to support children's academic attainment. It is well documented that there is a high correlation between education and economic success. Gilroy (2013) states that, in order to cope with the discrimination that many Latin o children go through, education can become secondary to aiding and helping

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14 the family. The College Board states that other factors such as family income, parental education, and language barriers can affect education attainment of disadvantaged students ( Gilroy, 2013). Previously, programs have been made to aid students of all different nationalities to overcome these factors. Programs such as English as a Second Language (ESL) have created avenues for these children to ov ercome some of the difficulties in their lives. E nglish as a second language is a program directed by the United States federal government as a way to provide access to education for students whose' primary language is not English (Moses, Busetti Frevert, & Pritchard, 2015). This program p rovides students of many different languages a way to not only learn English, but to become better accustomed to mainstream education. Many of these students have to face a steep learning curve to reach the level of oral and writing skills that many mainst ream students have (Herring, 2014). This program has teachers work directly with students at individual grade levels and implements equivalent levels of engagement and questioning as mainstream students in both students' traditional language and in English (Moses, Busetti Frevert, & Pritchard, 2015). Though this program has been successful, there are still current thematic and name changes occurring to ensure acceptance and optimal success rates (Herring, 2014). The current study looks at a similar program with a slightly different name English for New Learners (ENL). For the purposes of this study ENL and ESL will be used intermittently based on the location and title of the program. As the edu cation system has implemented more programs such as ESL, it has provided some Latino children with better opportunities for success. Previous research has stated promotion of academic programs can mean that the overall well being of

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15 Hispanic students is im proving, but not all studies found significant data supporting this conclusion (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). This development is important from an early age. If more schools start using programs such as ESL or ENL young Latino children have a be tter chance of future success. The prevalence of a good elementary school education is related with high school and even college success. What has been discovered is that the more acculturated a Latino family becomes, the more likely they are to receive be tter education (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). In 2008 the United States fell into a recession. This recession had a profound effect on a large majority of its population. Latino adolescents saw their unemployment rates increase by 7 percentage poi nts (Mellende r, 2013). Though this recession created a very difficult job market, it created an importance on education for eventual success. The United States has developed to the point where if a person does not develop academic success from an early age it becomes very difficult to recover. Without more than a high school diploma, the job market becomes very saturated and very few jobs become available. A PEW Research Study, Washington DC, (2009) showed that 86% of Hispanic adolescents beli eved that a c ollege education was important for eventual success as compared to 74% of the general public. This resea rch could be construed to show that education is more important to Hispanics than the general population. If this is true, it is notably admirable for Hispanics to understand the importance of education. That being said, Latino children are still highly likely to drop out of school. In 2012, 134,000 Hispanic children K 12 dropped out of school after being in school the previous year (Mellender, 2013).

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16 The amount of education that Latino students are receiving is on the rise. From 2000 2010 the amount of associate degrees that Latino stu dents received more than doubled from 51,500 to 112,000 (Gilroy, 2013). This good news has continued after 2010 as in 2013 the number of students earning their high school degree increased to 76.3% (up from 72.8% in 2010). Latino students represent 16.2% o f all students entering into college. This makes them the highest represented minority group in American college levels. Most of this progress can be attributed to the su ccess starting at an early age. Additionally, scores in elementary school are on the rise. In 2012, one in four kindergartens was primarily composed of Hispanic students and elementary schools continue to rise at the same rate (Gilroy, 2013). In fact, the only schooling that still remains without evidence of growth is the increase to enter nursery school (Gilroy, 2013). It is still not fully understood why specifically these rates are not increasing within a nursery school, but it is hypothesized that this is due to more of a collectivist approach in early education for Latino culture as compared to the individualistic approach of many Anglo children (Gilroy, 2013) This growth could be explained by less isolation and greater cultural relevance included in education. For example, soccer is a cultural identity for many Latino youths. Messeri (2008) documented that soccer can be used as a tool to develop an area economically and socially. Areas that used soccer showed greater educational attainment and cultur al involvement in school activities (Messeri, 2008) Implementing other culturally relevant activities into the community could allow students and family members to become more accustomed to education in the United States It is

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17 hypothesized that future res earch on this implementation of culturally relevant material is needed to determine these effects. Other cultu ral values such as familismo may have the same desired effect as implementing soccer into the educational system. The current study demonstrates t he importance of familismo on the culture and education of Latino students. The current study also demonstrates that familismo has tremendous impact of the family unit of Latinos. The practice of this family value is not to simply create social and economi c gain; instead culturally relevant information can be used as a tool for academic motivation. Familismo and Education Familismo is a cultural mindset of a collectivist community with shared ideas of reciprocity, loyalty, and solidarity of Latino family members (Chavez Korell, Benson Florez, Rendon, & Farias, 2013). This ideal gives support to individuals who may or may not be related to other individuals in the community by promoting loyalty and unity of the family over individual needs (Aretakis Ceballo, Suarez, and Camacho, 2015). Individuals provide a support system in hopes of promoting growth by providing emotional support. This mindset occurs due to the collectivist idea of willingness to sacrifice for the well being of the group (Chavez Ko rell, Benson Florez, Rendon, & Farias, 2013). There has been limited research on the direct impact of familismo on education. There have been studies that showed external factors associated with both strengths and vulnerabilities have been acknowledged ( Aretakis, Ceballo, Suarez, and Camacho, 2015). These factors are also highly associated with positive educational development. This

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18 could provide evidence that familismo could directly impact the education success of Latino youth especially when it comes t o social and identity development. Because familismo is an important part of the cultural beliefs, it can be seen as a way to help children and adolescents establish values, beliefs and adjust to different cultural environments. These ideals can become imp ortant in establishing educational goals and a support network which will foster academic growth. Aganza, Godinez, Smith, Gonzalez, & Robinson Zaartu (2015) stated that American teachers have traditional cultural views of what students should or should not do. They have an expectation of how students look, act, talk, and learn from the dominant culture. When students come from different cultures, it can be seen as a deficit rather th an a strength to the classroom. Instead of viewing these differences as a negative, teachers can use these cultural beliefs as a way to reach the children in a very minimally invasive way. By implementing this type of teaching style, teachers could address culturally specific is sues to distinctive populations (Aganza, Godinez, Smith, Gonzalez, & Robinson Zaartu, 2015). Historical Impact in North Central Indiana North Central Indiana comes with a unique population and barriers affecting educational attainment. Research has shown that there are specific economic, educational, an d political aspects of this community that affect the Latino community (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011). Historically, Elkhart, Noble, and St. Joseph counties started to receive an influx of Latino immigrants face the difficulties associated with learning a new language and a new culture all the while having limited resources such as financial means or access to

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19 educational resources (Parson, Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes, 2011). These areas have received especially hig h levels of immigration due to industrial and agricultural jobs that are prevalent in the area (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011). Unfortunately, these Latino s are subject to having higher poverty rates, lower income, lower educational attainment and low er homeownership rates. From US Census Bureau data published in 2009, Latino s display the highest rate of completing less than a ninth grade education in both Elkhart and St. Joseph counties. In both of these counties, 42% of Latino s have less educational attainment than a high school diploma (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011).When taking the 42% into Latino this showed a large percentage of Elkhart's population does not have a high school d iploma (Parson, Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes, 2011). This statistic is significantly higher than the 15% of White and African American populations from the same area. When parents have lower levels of educational attainment, it can present a challenge to help their children achieve educationally. For these new immigrants, the educational system can seem very confusing (Lopez & Viramontez Anguiano, 2013). Research shows that parental involvement is key in the development of educational attainment of children (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011 ) Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan Silva (2011) found that educational attainment of the Latino population in north central Indiana can be addressed by identifying the educational needs and assets of this community. Parental involvement, academic experiences, and social experiences present different educational needs and assets for the Latino commun ity (Passel, 2006; Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan Silva, 2011).

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20 It was documented that parents of Latino students were less likely to be involved in their children's education due to social, linguistic, cultural, and political factors ( Guzman, Reyes, P alacios, & Carolan Silva, 2011). Less parental involvement could lead to the lower educational attainment of future generations (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011). Because many of these immigrants come from rural cultures in their native lands, they may not have extended access to education while growing up (Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan Silva, 2011). What is shown is that these parents may not be able to specifically provide aid with their children's homework, but this data acknowledges Latino paren ts have found additional methods to nurture their children. These parents focus on assisting their children through emotional care. This can be done by motivating them to do their coursework or finding a mentor for them to aid in (Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan Silva, 2011). The other significant way that Latino is by going to the schools themselves. This is especially relevant as academic success will promote soci oeconomic stability for Latino s in the region (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011). It has been documented that many parents attended school meetings as regularly as possible, attempted to learn English, and sought out changes in discriminatory practices t hat involve themselves or their children (Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan Silva, 2011). These factors then make it clear that theoretical knowledge of these issues is necessary. Without clear understanding of how and why these difficult situations can a ffect a person, it becomes impossible to fully comprehend how to help these

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21 out on a needs based background, it then becomes easier to understand how cultural difficulties can affect a person. This then makes it evident that theoretical implications are needed to best understand how a situation can be altered. Theoretical Framework The profound effects of these raids, pressures, and lack of political power can be explored t hrough using different theoretical framework s In researching what theories would be most effective in understanding the positions of a person placed in a position of discrimination two theories beca me relevant. These systems are specifically relevant in understanding how the environment and culture that dominates Latino students affect their personal identity. The first theory utilized ecological system s to help describe cond specifically focuses on how an individual will progress For this study, Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological System's Theory (1989) and Abraham Maslow's Hi erarchy of Needs (1943) provided a window through which to explain the occurrences of Latino youths in north central Indiana. The Ecological System's Theory was used as the primary framework for findings of this study. This framework will be used in conjunction with chapter 4 and the result s section of this thesis. The Hierarchy of Needs will be used as a way to explain the preliminary findings in the future research section of chapter 5. This framework will be discussed as part of chapter 5 to provide direction for discussion and future res earch of this study. Together, the Ecological System's t heory and the Hierarchy of Needs provide d a framework for the current study and future research based on the findings

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22 Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory (1989) provides a systematic systems. This theory is based off of cultural and impactful environments. These environments all ow for the best situation to determine which systems are particularly influential for that person. For the purposes of this article, this theory will specifically look at the impact of social inequalities for an at risk Latino child. The innermost circl e in Bronfenbrenner's model (1989) is the microsystem. This school, church,). Many Latino children have found discrimination from peers in school due to their cultural norms. These children gain increased stress with fewer of their colleagues also being from Latino ancestry (Becerra, et. al., 2012). Pressure from non Latino children has a direct correlation to academic success (Becerra, et. al., 2012). Latino children wi th strong connections in the microsystem are especially academically successful when they conform to mainstream ideologies and create bonds among other minority groups (Rivas Drake & Mooney, 2009). The se cond innermost circle is the mesosystem. This sys tem is comprised of two or more microsystems that interact or have direct contact regarding the child (e.g., parent and teachers, pastors and siblings). The interaction between these two microsystem groups can be strained through language barriers. This wo will not be able to gain information in which ways to aid the child. These barriers create

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23 strain for both parties and the school system in general (Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, & Chavez, 2013). The exosystem is the circle in Bronfenbrenner's model (1989) in which the child does not directly intera ct with those involved, but the child is job, the school board, the city council). The exosystem would be directly related to immigration policy and the political ideals and the difficulties associated with parents and families becoming legalized in the United States If the United States becomes stricter in immigration p olicy, the individual is indirectly impacted, but forced to adapt to these environment. The macrosystem is the fa rthest outward circle. This topic covers broad concept s about culture through all the other systems. The macrosystem can be seen as the blueprint for a particular region or culture (Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, & Chavez, 2013). It is important to note that there can be cultural differences in the macrosystem o f Latinos from similar backgrounds as well. The differences within the macrosystem provided researc h distinct realities within the Latino population. Rivas Drake and Mooney (2009) discussed how two different sets of Latino s have emerged through the process of acculturation in the United States The first is the group that has chosen to coincide into mainstream culture. This group was more likely to succeed academically as well as have at least one parent with a college degr ee (Rivas Drake & Mooney, 2009). The second group was more likely to hold onto cultural norms, but participate in volunteer and campus organized sports (Rivas Drake and Mooney, 2009). The cultural differences between these two groups show that within

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24 one c ountry, the macrosystem can affect different people within the same community differently. For example a Latino who has acculturated to the United States may focus on education and more individualistic career goals over a Latino who maint ains a strong cult ural identity. As the research demonstrated it is critical to understand the diversity of experiences of Latinos and education. Bronfenbrenner (1989) concludes using the chronosystem. The chronosystem is not an outward expansion of any of the other systems T he chronosystem is all encapsulating based off of the time and location associated with the attitudes of those involved. Depending on where a Latino child is living at a certain time, they are going to have different experiences and different values pus hed upon them. For example, a Latino living in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina would face different social and environmental pressures than a Latino individual could be focused on survival and rebuilding a br oken community, whereas the second individual could be faced with promotion of equal rights through the Civil Rights movement. Abraham Hierarchy of Needs for human motiva tion. The basic concept behind this theory is the drive for a human to focus on survival before any other need was met. After focusing on surviving, cultural identities and development become crucial in self discovery and motivation. It is n eeds such as sa tion and should be considered when working with Latino families and their youth personal development. It is the combination of culture and needs that allows for a person to find themselves. In this

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25 way, a person that fulfills needs is more likely to be able to pursue personal interests. These needs are stacked based on pre potency or the ability to satisfy all primal needs before cultural needs (Maslow, 1943). This means that the secondary set of needs c annot be fully fulfilled until the primary or physiological needs are met. This trend continues up the ladder of needs. The physiological needs include anything that will keep the body in a state of homeostasis (Maslow, 1943). These needs include but are n ot limited to food, water, and shelter. Tienda and Haskins (2011) study shows that recent social and economic trends show that children with immigrant parents fare worse on most social indicators than their native born counterparts. When an individual does not have one or more component of this primary level, they become dominated by the thought of this need. Maslow (1943) gives the example of a hungry man. For him, paradise would simply be a place with plenty of food to eat and that is all. If a Latino fam ily is having struggles gaining resources such as income to purchase food, they will feel more likely to work on these needs over anything else. Income then is focused on maintaining and acquiring food, water, and shelter over items such as pencils and rul ers for school. Social, educational, and developmental goals will fall to the wayside to make sure the family is complete and able to successfully survive. The secon dary level is the safety needs Maslow (1943). When children are placed in an environment wi thout rhythm or a pattern, they can view the world as unpredictable child taken care of, the child can become frightened (Becerra, et. all., 2012). The inconsisten cy of work schedules can also leave the child to wonder if their parents will

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26 return home. In this case, if a Latino family is worried about security and safety for their family the thought of a good education might fall to the wayside. The child may becom e distracted by the thoughts of their family being torn apart to focus on educational goals and achievements. The next level is need of love (Maslow, 1943). This stage is the necessity to feel love, belonging, and being accepted. Maslow (1943) states that if a person has a lack of meaningful relationships in their life (parent, siblings, friends, spouse), they will long to have these goals. If a Latino child immigrates to the United States without knowing English, it can become hard for this child to creat e meaningful relationships. Simply by speaking a language with is not consistent with the dominant culture, the amount of people the child can relate to decreases significantly. This is especially true in predominantly English speaking communities. If all the previous levels are relatively secure and accomplished the child will lead to the esteem needs. This level is the desire by nearly all people to have a stable, firmly based self esteem which is based on a real capacity of achievement and respect from those around us (Maslow, 1943). The ability to fit into peer groups is a developmental issue for all children. It is expected that Latino noncitizens achieve higher educational equity when they reside with Latino citizens who share similar policy preferenc es (Rocha & Matsubayashi, 2012). If a Latino child has a strong support network, this level of attainment will be easily overcome. When a child can develop socially, strong peer relations and resistance to conform to mainstream society can lead to students becoming more active and involved in ethnic activities and organizations (Rivas Drake & Mooney, 2009). It is suggested that implementation of culturally relevant material to create social

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27 relations into education will provide positive results with educati onal attainment. The ability to achieve positive social status is crucial in developing self esteem and self worth. This level is based on the idea that self esteem will lead to the development of the feeling of worth, strength, capability and most import antly interpersonal confidence (Maslow, 1943) The top level of attainment is the need for self actualization. This need is the ability to find a calling or as Maslow himself stated as a key theme to much of his research what a man can be, he must be (Maslow, 1943). This realization comes in a variety of fashions A person may feel content by successfully taking care of his/her family or the need to become a doctor. Though this level can be achieved through intrinsic motivations, this achievement can become even more attainable through education. Historically immigrants have used schools to acquire skills and knowledge needed to successfully integrate into the society in the United States (Tienda & Haskins, 2011). For this reason, the development of ed ucational goals for Latino s is ever important. The ability to inspire educationally opens up the opportunity to reach the The Necessity to Aid Latino Youth in American Culture Today's immigrants have a much different attitude than immigrants who settled here one hundred years ago. This newer, post modern wave of immigrants isn't assimilating into our culture because, unlike their predecessors, they have adopted a kind of parasit ic approach to the United States They aren't interested in becoming citizens; they simply want to attach themselves to their American host and feed off of it while maintaining their native identities and cultures. In doing so, they lack any sense of Ameri can community. (Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo 2006 : 203; Nelson & Hiemstra, 2008)

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28 The previous quote demonstrates the lack of awarene ss and understanding by some political officials of the Latino culture. This controversial quote shows that often people in power positions do not have the needs and desires of Latino youth on their agenda. Rather than aiding these children, many politicia n s view them as outsiders If a politician is willing to express comments like this in public, more than likely, many people feel the same way in private. When large numbers of immigrant families move into an area traditionally composed of Anglo residents, many viewed this mobilization as a crisis for their community and location identity (Nelson & Hiemstra, 2008). It then becomes necessary to understand the struggles these children face and create a way for them to become successful. In Bronfenbrenner's E cological Systems Model (1989), both the exosystem and macrosystem describe how this level of discrimination interacts with a person. When the culture of the power position looks down or hinders the advancement or the interests of Latino s, the exosystem of the child changes from social support to a system of discrimination as well. This then separates the where the Latino children are misunderstood as or believed to be not wel come to participate in cultural events with the rest of society. Mexican immigrants were (and are) placed in hierarchies of race, class, and illegality while being placed in low income and insecure employment (Nelson & Hiemstra, 2008). Not having constant and sustainable income creates an insecure environment which Maslow (1943) describes as a deterrent for attaining the second level of his Hierarchy of Needs. In the third level, Maslow (1943) described the desire to have

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29 a stable self esteem. It becomes v ery unlikely that a child who grows up with political power oppressing them will ever fully develop a healthy self image. For many Latino youths and families, there is a constant pull of which ways to be successful in transitioning to America. It seems as though there is a constant pull between more a Latino becomes acculturated into the United States the higher chance there is of eventual success (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). This creates a dilemma in many ways. First, does the family have the language capabilities to even begin fully becoming acculturated? Second, is it morally right to become acculturated and assimilated into American society rather than remain anything else, when a person evaluates oneself as competent and worthwhile does it create high pre dictors of positive self esteem? There are also correlations between self esteem and more acculturated Latino s (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). The process of becoming acculturated is very difficult. Many of these Latino families do not have the monetary or language means to be able to initially become successful at this process. If a family does not have the monetary mean s to give their child school supplies, these children can then in turn fall behind in their studies. The developmental delays stemming from lack of monetary means is only magnified when language becomes an issue as well. When the parents do not have the ab ility to teach their children English, it can significantly delay the education of Latino youth. These children then have to learn the language while in turn keeping up with their studies.

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30 Chapter III METHODS This chapter is the basis for design and practices used in this thesis. The data provided was examined as a means to illustrate the impact of ecological systems effect on Latino families in north central Indiana. It is also important to restate that all dat a was collected in part through the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning at Goshen College. This study was part of a larger project funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. Grant No. 2006 1434 000.This section was designed to follow work in acco rdance with this funded research which was part of the Latino Family Research Project in north central Indiana in which Dr. Ruben Viramontez Anguiano was the primary researcher. Research Design This study was designed to discover the internal relationships and cultural beliefs of Latino immigrant families on the educational system in the United States based on ethnographic approach wa s based on this method. Data focused on the educational attainment of Latino children through the eyes of their parents and leaders in the community. Research conducted focused on the ethnographic influences to create a holistic understanding to this cultu ral adjustment ( Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, Chavez, & 2013). This data was collected by reaching out to migrant communities by way of multiple interactions. These interactions included interviews, observations, and interaction with these respondents. Cresw ell (2003) states that these varied components are important parts of an ethnography. Collection of this data was derived from multiple

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31 visits in to this community so that more findings, themes, and confidence was built ( Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, & Chavez 2013). Because this population is placed in difficult situation, gaining trust an d receiving trustworthiness through the data was key to the study To address this, member check was conducte d to ensure meaning and trustworthiness of statements (Creswell, 2003; Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes and Chavez, 2013). This member check and triangulation process was utilized to make sure that all researchers viewed the opinions and statements in the same way. This process created a way for all data and results to convey the true meaning of the research (Vir amontez Anguiano, Reyes and Chavez, 2013). Participants Familie s All participants were residing in north central Indiana. The specific location of these participants has been deidentified to keep anonymity. For the purposes of this study respondents were given numbers associated with their responses. Family participants were credited by writing Participant followed by a corresponding identification number (see Chapter 4). This study included 40 families which consisted of 63 immigrant individuals. Of these families, a majority were from Mexico (37) and others were from Nicaragua (1), El Salvador (1) and Honduras (1). The mean age of these participants was 41 for females and 42 for males. These parents had varied highest educational level attained ranging from elementary school to graduate school. A vast majority showed educational difficulties as 35 (55.5%) did not receive a high school diploma. Of this population, 11 (17.4%) received six years or fewer of formal education. The remaining 13 (38.1%) participants received twelve years of school in either Latin

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32 America (12 ) or the United States (1). Others had college opportunities as 12 (19.0%) received some college education including college degrees (9 or 14.3%), masters degrees (2 or 3.2%) and doctoral degrees (2 or 3.2%). Though there is a wide range in educational at tainment, educational attainment is negatively skewed towards lower levels of educational attainment. The remainders of the participant were school liaisons. They were hired professionals within the school themselves directed to aid children at the school s. These liaisons worked with all students, but primarily focused on the Latino students in the community. These liaisons acted as a bridge for Latino family members to understand academic and social resources available at the schools. School Liaisons For the purposes of this study all school liaisons were deidentified. To credit these liaisons, participants were quoted and credited by writing Participant SL followed by a corresponding identification number. For an example of this see Chapter 4. These l iaisons were only briefly quoted but provided context for the importance of the thematic findings Of the participants, the school liaison respondents were primarily aged in their 20's and 30's, but included a ranged from 23 62. All the school liaisons w ere female. Of the 7 participants, 6 respondents were Latinas. Specifically, 4 participants came from Mexican background, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from Columbia and there was 1 European American These liaisons were knowledgeable in working with this communit y as participant s ranged from 3 17 years of experience The liaisons had a n education range

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33 All the liaisons were bilingual so that they could work with the Latino population. From the current study, seven liaisons were working in the schools directly. Two of these liaisons were not selected for this study. Transcriptions for these two liaisons were in Spanish and due to l anguage barriers of the researcher, this data was unidentifiable. Liaisons presented th e perception of community members who worked in the schools themselves. Liaisons each worked in different school environments. Role of the Researcher As a researcher, the importance of this topic cannot be stated enough. As the population and culture in th e United States becomes more in line with Latino s, it will become more and more important to see exactly how to best serve this population. It is believed that creating awareness and understanding of how and why this population is still being oppressed wil l act as a catalyst for equality. It is the belief of the researcher that if society does not truly understand the difficulties affecting this population from a qualitative standpoint, a solution to this equality problem will never be found. How then is ch ange created? This research focuses on the idea that discussion and understanding of what is at the root of this discrimination will lead to eventual political, societal, and cultural changes. It is only by changing these three aspects of everyday life tha t equality will be reached. Research can act as a basis for this macrosystem change. Primary R esearcher Research conducted for this thesis was in part of the larger Latino Family Resear ch Project. This work was developed so that access to the perceptions of this underserved population could be spread. Primary researchers worked to better this

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34 community and to present their hardships and strengths to the outside world. Primary researchers worked within this community for three years gaining trust and the pe rception This primary study asks for future research and implementation of this knowledge towards the strengths and struggles of this population through the immigration process. To conclude, this study states that future tus of immigrant Latino s families in the Midwest impacts other domain s, such as educational success (Viramontez, Secondary Researcher through the University of Colorado Denver It is the role as a secondary researche r to continue and expand on the goals of the primary researchers. This was achieved by focusing the current study on the future research objective of the primary study By taking new variables gathered in the same data set, it becomes more reliable that co nclusions drawn in this thesis can be expanded to a broader contextual meaning. Greater understanding of the depths of this previous research will draw more of a complete picture into the ecological systems affecting this population. Only by fully exhausti ng this data is it possible to encompass the interactions between ecological factors affecting this population. Though this thesis only identifies three variables, it is a hope that this data will be reused until all variables are covered. The variables se lected specifically target the educational experience of Latino students It is the belief of the primary researcher that we are all born equal. Only societal discrimination s that leave certain populations struggling to get succeed This ideal has led to d esire to aid children born to immigrant families by building up their access to protective factors. By looking at how the family and community leaders about their views

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35 in educational success and leadership it is possible to get a firsthand account of how and why Latino individuals are having educational problems, Interview Protocol All protocol s were derived from the Latino Fa mily Research Project from the C enter for Intercultural T eachin g and L earning at Goshen College which was funded by a Lil l y Endowment Grant. The theoretical framework of this interview protocol was designed based on the larger Latino Family Research Project and the ground breaking research of Concha Delgado Gaitan (1992). Protocol for this study was based on a multistep proce ss including an interview followed by observations and interactions with participants. Interviews for this research were done in a manner to create a safe environment free from external societal pressures. To achieve this goal, research was done in the fam individual basis. All answers were open ended in order to give them the ability to speak freely about their experiences in north central Indiana. Oth allowed to be present at the time of the i nterviews. All participants were given consent forms and were instr ucted that all participation was voluntary. Participants were instructed that they could withdraw from the study at any time. After the interviews were over, research continued by reaching out to the individuals on a larger and more personal scale. All the same procedures were used with the school liaison participants Data Analysis A thematic analysis was presented as a means of data analysis. Data was analyzed on by specifically focusing on the theoretical work of Systems Theory. What became important through this data was finding recurring themes

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36 by different participants. This came from multiple interaction, interviews, and observations of the participants of this study. After these themes were identified this collection of data became the perceived ecological context of Latino s living in north central Indiana. Once these themes were identified follow up interviews were used to pinpoint the examples derived f rom this research. This means that researched took previous quotes and redirected conversation to specifically target these the mes. To insure trustworthiness the primary researcher went back on multiple occasions bringing up the same themes to ensure that all data collected was accurately received and had not changed over time. The final results of this data then became the perceived ethnographic ideals of the population on the educational system in north central Indiana. The final results of this data wer e then recorded as the basis for this thesis. Concludi ng data evaluated participant s perception of the educational attainment for Latino youth These conclusions were drawn through the experiences of the participants of this study. Thematic results are interpreted through Appendix D All variables were selected based to specifically f ocus on educational attainment. These variables were selected as to gain two independent standpoints of the education available to this population. The answers highlighted in this thesis are selected based on their ability to explain the personal accounts correlating with the thematic principles of cological Systems Theory. Additional variables were ignored as to not dilute the qualitative reasoning about educational attainment in north central Indiana

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37 Procedures Original Study The original data was collected using open discussions and direct participant participation in through the Latino Family Re search Project This was done through the use of w Model (1979) and Participant O bservation M odel (1980) Original data was collected over numerous hours of interaction with this sample population. At the onset of research protocol the primary researcher (The Latino Family Research Project) stressed to the sample population that this was a mutual ethnographi c learning experience. This goal was achieved through recruiting participants through a purposive manner. Community leaders were identified and given the instrument. From here, these community leaders directed the researchers to other participants from th e study. Respondents could then enter the study once they were approved as being voluntary and qualified candidates. The researchers from the Latino Family Research Project then became involved with everyday life by attending dinners, rituals (church and c ommunity events) and other means of discussion such as attending after school programs ( Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes, Chavez, 2013). This active participation lasted two years to achieve active involvement and trust in the community as a means to continue th Latino Family Research Project had 20 years of working in the community, spoke Spanish, and was born to immigrant parents. This experience le d to openness with the researcher and the participants in a manner which is unprecedented as of today.

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38 Secondary Data Procedures University of Colorado Denver For the purpose of this thesis all variables were selected from this data set based on those variables which had the deepest meaning to educational barriers that affect Latino youth family data set. Information was analyzed to by identifying common factors within the data. These factors were then analyzed as either a strength or a difficulty associated with this population (T ables 1 & 2). identifying key concepts or factors that appeared in the data. Once a factor was identified it was compared with all other part icipants. These factors were then analyzed by looking at the frequency of appearances. Together, twenty eight factors came from the data. These factors were then analyzed and combined into four thematic results. These results are the lasting contribution f rom this study.

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39 CHAPTER IV F INDINGS Thematic Findings After reviewing the data, it became apparent that there was a multitude of factors that affects the educational attainment of Latino youth in north central Indiana. Twenty eight different indiv idual f actors were identified (T ables 1 & 2) as either strengths or difficulties associated with how parents viewed the educational experience of their having to learn English af ter immigrating to the United States Other factors included the educational system, community, or personal lives of the children. Thus, the objective of this chapter is to present the findings from the secondary data through the use of a thematic style to better understand Latino families and their youth education in north central Indiana. Another objective of this chapter is to contextually ground the finding through the use the Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Model The overarching result that came fro m this data was that all participants mentioned aspects that are associated ) and Masl of Needs (1943). What follows is the reporting of the findings through the 4 themes with the use the future research section.

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40

PAGE 50

41

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42 Model ( 1989) they were contextualized (Appendix D) s (1943) model was used to describe preliminary findings as discussed in chapter 5. In this way, the ecological factors that were affected led to the participants' perspective of educational and personal development. A person who had greater support in the family more than a person who reported more difficulties in their family and community. These two theoretical frameworks were then used in conjunction to explain what occurred in the educational experiences of Latino youth in north central Indiana. Overall, respondents that reported more strength factors and less diffic ulties reported greater amounts of educational success and greater adaptation to life in north central Indiana. In opposition, the respondents that reported greater difficulties also reported less educational success and adaptation to life in north central Indiana. These results and preliminary findings are shown in Appendix D and Tables 1 & 2 What came as an interesting finding was that many of the strength and difficulty factors are very similar in nature An example that explains this finding is that twenty one respondents stated that their parental involvement was crucial in the educational attainment of their children (T able 1). Nineteen respondents also stated that there was very little Latino parental involvement in the community (T able 2). Thus, one of the conclusions from the data was that parental involvement in the school system is crucial in educational attainment to Latino families and their youth. Without parental involvement students may not have the support to advance past Safety Nee ds in Appendix D This finding was consistent with the previous research that has found that the more Latino

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43 parents involved themselves in the formal education of their children the more like they were to succeed ( Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011 ). T hus it became the goal of the research to understand why the strengths and difficulties were so similar in nature Why were participants stating factors such as parental involvement or access to educational resources seen as both a strength and a difficul ty associated with this population? The conclusion drawn from this occurrence was that if these themes are reoccurring as both a strength and a difficulty, these issues must be at the heart of what is truly affecting Latino youth in north c entral Indiana. B y parti cipants mentioning that they are glad a factor is being addressed or wish an aspect of their children's education needs additional resources, these variables must be important to educational attainment. The similarities in data provided f our key themes that were directed out of the research in relations to themes were transcendent across systems (microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem) and looked at the interaction betwe en these systems through the concept of time or the chronosystem Though these themes were directed through the Ecological s T heory (1989) they provide evidence as to why students may not obtain optimal achievement in the Hierarchy of Needs (1943). Theme 1: Educational Cultural Differences between the United States and The first theme is educational cultural differences between the United States and participant s homelands. This theme looked at the interaction between macrosystem cultural ideals on education and the microsystem family interactions. For this theme data

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44 was derived from thematic factors such as: more diversity, education starts in the home, cultural differences in education, lack of value in education, an d parental education. This theme looks at the specific differences between the cultural identities and beliefs of education for Latino families The variable associated to this theme would be : how are d the United States affecting A major part of this theme is the idea that in the Latino culture the term educated ( educacion ) means something different than in the traditional United States sense. Many times individuals w ho have little formal classroom education can still b e viewed as educated. This is in part due to the fact t hat in many Latino attitude and the way a person represents him self or herself is the true meaning of educated. Participants r eported: There is a big difference between the academic and education. I have met people who are very educated academically, but they are very vulgar. They are not illiterate, but do with education. Participant 0086 Educacion for me, has to do with the way they treat people, and that is a high value because of the whole respect and treating me as an equal. Estudiada is one who has learned, or has an education, they can be estudiada but not educada. I can have my degree but I don't know how to treat a person. Another value is family. At least taking care of the family, taking care of each other is important. The value of respect. When I say family value too is how we reflect our family based on how we act. Parents might not care so much about what their child is learning, but did they behave, were they respectful? That is the most important thing for the famil ies. And that is a direct reflection of the parents. Participant SL 0111

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45 These findings demonstrate the distinction between educated ( educacion ) and education ( studied ) This distinction is key in really understanding the cultural importance between trad itional education and the cultural education that new immigrants are accustomed to. To confirm thi s statement participants stated: Educated is that he is respectful and respects people. Studied is that he has some capability to make him successful. He stud ied something so he can be successful. Participant 0070 school. As long as the education is at home they take it and practice it at the school. I refer to being respectful with t he teachers, to be kind with others, etc. Education at the home is more morally than the education of the school. Participant 0091 As documented in previous research (Salinas, 2008) the cultural discontinuity that occurs between Latino families and their youth and the concept of educacion was apparent as documented by the participants. Often Latino educacion and struggle with the realities of American educational system (Salinas, Viramontez Anguiano, & Ibrahim, 2008) Thus, the current findings demonstrated that some of the Latino parents had not received much of a formal education in their home country A s a result of this lack of formal education, participants were not as familiar educational systems in the United States The data demonstrated that the effect of this cultural difference is that parents attempted to place the same amount value on educacion as education (studied)a result of the lack of formal education was that some Latino parents needed additional help with formal education. Participants saw that due to their goals of teaching their children educacion formal education (studied) was not seen as the priority of mainstream students. Rather, participants stated the importance of educating t heir children with both formal education (studied) and educacion

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46 P articipants stated: ed ucated myself alone. I am one among eight brothers, and I am the only who graduated from a higher university twice. But I did it for me. My mother never anything of what I did. She did not study and was not involved in any way. It was my responsibility to get up on time and go to school. The big majority, the group of Hispanics who are focused in education is very few. Participant 0086 Here at the home is where you make the best ch ildren, from here teachers, doctors, will emerge. The school is there but the first school is your home which you need to take to expand them and take them outside. The family group is what will make you a better citizen. Participant 0095 There is a sayin baby, from the breast. So it says that you will learn things at home. You may be rich, but if you are not educated, it will not be worth it. And also if you are the poorest, but have good mann ers, it is worth it. Participant 0062 To further the discussion regarding the differences between education in others words the cultural discontinuity between Latino s and mainstream students, the data consistently bolded out these types of findings. For example it is also important to mention that there was a lot of difficulty for parents trying to aid their children once they get into the American educational system. Language barriers and differences in teaching methods between the United States and the participants home lands can create added tension between parents, teachers, and schools. As stated in the participants section (page 31 ), 55.5% of participants did not receive a high school education. Without this

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47 Participants stated how difficult linguistic challenges could impede the interaction b Participants stated: From that moment the gap between parents and children becomes wider. We there is another system here, another language, Participant 0100 There are many kids that are like that because many of the parents that came to he came from the school or not. They need to look after Participant 0088 It is very different here. Help us, because as parents we are educating ourselves because we are trying to teach something that they never taught us at the same time. Participant 0113 From this data it is imperative that anyone who is trying to work with this population sees that in order to create solid educational development for Latino student s, there has to be collaboration between the education in the home and at the school. J ust working within the formal mainstream educational model may not establish the importance or develop the moti vation in the student that collaboration of both the home and school setting could. It is also important to realize that many of these students will not have access to parental help at the home. These parents may want to be involved and aid their children educationally, but may not have the means to education to assist their

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48 children. Instead, the classroom will build a strengths based classroom. This may allow these parents and student s to adapt better to the educational system in the United States The finding from this theme contributed to the Latino family and education literature that has illustrated the familial cultural differences between Latino families and European American mai nstream education. Specifically, Delgado Gaitanis' (1992) groundbreaking work documented similar examples of these cultural differences. The current research contributes to the literature through illustrating similar findings in north central Indiana that has rarely been investigated through the use of qualitative methods and ecological theories. This theme provided rich d escriptions of the importance to understand the contextual nature of education in Latino families. More specifically it provided a windo w to understanding how Latino familial systems interact with mainstream educational systems. This theme is in accordance with previous research that has provided similar findings for Latino families. system interactions between Latino families and school are impacted by the macrosystem large ideologies of how education is defined and delivered. Moreover, it provides insight to the importance of developing partnerships between Latino families and mainstream educational systems to ensure the educa tional success of Latino youth. The theme gives insight to the challenges that Latino parents face in their effort to help their children succeed. Theme 2: Adversity in Access to Educational S uccess The second theme that arose was adversity in access to educational resources. ( 1989) microsystemic

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49 interactions and mesosystem communications within the schools. It is also important to note that this area of Indiana is unlike many in the United States as students as some received additional assistance through school liaisons. The school liaisons were there to make sure that all students (especially Latino s) were given the opportunity to have a positive and productive learning environment and they were exposed to the different educational programming that the district provided. These liaisons seemed to be overworked with high numbers of students needing assistance per liaison. This was an important finding, because this area also has a wide range of Latino students with some schools having much higher (up to 50% reported by participants) immigrant populations than others (as few as 10% reported by participants). Many times with immigrants migrating to the United States it is difficult for this population to know what is available to them and how to adapt to a new life (Perez, Espinoza, Ramos, Coronado, Cortes, 2009) For the se families often times they are unaware of the possib ilities of different resources ( Parson, Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes, 2011) education and receive educational aid and other resources. From the data, it seemed that many parents did not participate in activities as they had real concerns of fear of deportation or separation from their families. Often the school liaison was the only person they trusted. What follows are testimonies of the participants and their struggles. Participants stated: First barrier is papers, second is that the majority of us come from lower [socioeconomic] levels and what they look for is money and not to prepare them. They finish high school, which is mandatory pretty much, but after that then th ey go to get the money in factories. The mentality in our community, mostly, is that one. The outside culture absorbs us. The problem is in parents, not in the kids. We need to encourage them.

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50 Participant 0074 But I believe that Latino s in general, I onl y speak for those that are around here, I work with mostly of the lower socio economic, and they might not have much education themselves. So they don't see the value of it. But those that I work with that have gone to high school or studied post high scho ol, have a totally different view, even though they may be an "obrero" they still have a total different view of education and they are the ones most involved with their children. Participant SL 0111 For some of the participants the obstacles were difficult to overcome. Clearly from the data the reality of being an immigrant and those of which were undocumented often served as a major obstacle in serving as advocates for their children and adapting to the American culture. It seemed as though these participants thought that there was no help for them. Instead, these participants only had In this manner the American dream was not to be successful for themselves, but to give their children the chance for a better life. These participants wanted to hold on to their culture and their beliefs rather than accepting a place in a new society. Other participants tried to acculturate as best as they could while acknowledging the difficulties associated with their immigration. It was a genuine struggle for individuals to retain their culture while creating a balance through acculturation with the mainstream. To su pport this claim a participant stated: Well, no one ever adapts 100 percent to a place that is not your own. I can say I place where you are living now. To me, you like that place and feel like it is yours. I have not really adapted because we go from work to the house and just for what we need and then come back home. I do try that the kids have a differ ent

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51 10 hours. If yo u study, you may not be on TV and all but you will feel good about yourself. You have to do something you like and that can help others. Participant 0062 In regards to access to educational success another issue that the families faced was not solely scho lastic, but rather involved other social issues that affected their children at school such as gang affiliation and violence. Some of the families reported that violence as associated with gangs seemed to be prevalent in this area and this community. The expression of violence from Latino students who were involved in gangs spilled over to the majority of Hispanic youth who were not involved. The Latino students who were not in gangs were subject to principals and teachers associating them in gang activiti es due to cultural similarities. P articipants stated : In the middle school is when problems began because other kids began to come from other places. Gangs from California. They showed kids here different dress styles and things. There were fights and te achers began to pay more attention to Hispanics. This happened like in 2000 and 2003. There is a lot of racism with Mexicans from Americans. I am very mad with middle school and high school because they began to see all Hispanics as gang members. They took away the opportunity to graduate. One of my sons was suspended from middle school for simple reasons like wearing certain colors, wearing baggy clothes, or wearing a because they w ould not be at home, they would be in the streets. I asked to speak again. Participant 0070 The gang violence created a division between mainstream students and immigrant La tino students. This division made it even harder for students to receive aid in their community. Participants stated that there was limit ed interaction between Latino students

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52 and their school administrators while gang violence was prevalent As a way to fix this problem participants stated that school officials needed to, speak with parents, we all have children here. In the community where we are good things to do but lot of bad people and we suffer the consequence, but for one person that does the wrong. They think we are all the same. Participant 0088 Theme 3: Policy, Practice and Perception This theme came about as a way that Latino s viewed their place is response to American citizens. The major idea behind this theme is that there were two distinct views on the Latino population. First, that there were people out there that were trying to aid them and to m ake their transition to the United States more peaceful and obtainable. The second was that there was a group of people who did not want to see them succeed. This data was derived from factors such as: specialized resources, change, schools are overwhelmed /financial, and racism. These factors resembled the exosystem in that this population is dependent on the policies and the public services that were developed to benefit or hinder the Latino families. For example, if teachers, community leaders, or governmental officials decided to not accept undocumented students into the classroom, there would be a tremendous effect on the Latino (1989) macrosystemic cul tural understanding of the United States and the good nature of its people to realize everyone deserve s a chance to become educated. Specifically, this was apparent as documented in an earlier article that utilized this data (Lopez & Viramontez Angu iano, 2 013 ) that illustrated how the Mennonite community and others in the region reached and

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53 provided assistance and aid to the incoming Latino families. This was very apparent in the schools as the administration advocated for all children. This cultural transformation of the region has created a new identity for the schools and the community. There has been a change over the last twenty years to accept this population into the community. This shift was an important step to the educational at tainment of Latino students in north c entral Indiana. A participant stated: Before there were not people who spoke Spanish at the schools, now there are. remember when my son got into the speak English. Now there are people that help us. We try to be there and we had good experiences. Participant 0080 This theme illustrat es how educational systems shifted their policies and practices to accommodate the growth of Latino s in the schools. The data demonstrated that there has been an increase in acceptance and resources available to this population. This progress was certainly a major step forward in the educational attainment of Latino s. Now, more than ever, there was understanding that this population needed additional services. Participants stated: In the middle school, my son had bad grades. When he was in 7 th he was going to They evaluated him because he has an issue with his ears. Then they paid more attention to him and now he has great grades. Participant 0072

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54 One of the things it has done, as far as schools, is to create the ENL program. came, we do an evaluation and we look at their level of English. If they just arrived to the area, their English is possibly zero. It is measured from 0 to 4. Once to recognize the are a of emotional and social adaptation that the families have to bit more flexible because they are learning the language and they are adapting. So the program only wants to embrace the kids in this situation, but at the same time to give them security or strength so that they go out into the general classes. So when they go out, for example if they are on level 0, they take natural sciences, English and mathematics. At le ast there is one subject that will remain alone. In that subject they do physical education, some elective, art, drawing. So the program, apart from the professionals that accompany them and translate for them, they are left alone so that they listen to th e language and adjust to the classes, and little by little the program wants to take them until they are able to. Participant 0116 As part of this theme important policies and practices were implemented into the school system for the immigrant Latino fam ilies This was especially relevant for those where English was a new language English for New Learners (ENL) was a program placed into the school system to aid newly immigrated students with little or no English skills These programs demonstrated to be beneficial to many of the students. Parents reported that their children were learning English and becoming much more assimilated. Many of the parents were highly with satisfied with the education that their children were receiving. However, for some of th e parents separating the student had not been an accepted practice. I felt that my kids were treated differently. They treated them as Hispanics, as different. I have alwa ys fought so that they treat me equally as others, not because of color, or language. The same with my children. When they separate them to go why English, they will learn there. Un fortunately many kids grow in that group and

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55 own culture, because we have it, not because we adapt to the system as the whites wants us to adapt, but we need to learn ho w to navigate this world, to stand out in this world and to try to change the customs of this world along with our culture. Not to separate them, because we continue to grow separate, isolated. Participant 0100 What became clear from the data was that the re was no clear cut way to best adapt this population to th e mainstream culture in the United States By not knowing English, the students were placed at a disadvantage from the time they entered school. So it was educating the people and at the same time how to be legal even though they status is illegal here, and to educate the children because they came to the receiving knowledge, they were not ready to go the kinder g arten wanted because many times it was the grandmothers, the cousins, the neighbors, and they were not taking things seriously. Participant 0116 By separating the students, there became a distinct difference between the Anglo students and the His panic students. Many of the respondents reported that there was a distinct difference between the education that many Anglo students received in opposition to the education that the Latino students received. It appeared that the Anglo students were given m any more educational advantages than the Latino students. They Although we are made the same, they see us different. Participant 0080 They look at us differently, they think our achieved. Really, they look at us at a lower level. According to what I have seen, they see you as inferior in one way or another. To be able to achieve a certain level we have to educate ourselves, we have to be compe titive. Participant 0095

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56 The majority are good people, but there are always the black beans and those are the ones who ruin the soup. Black people are of color, but they are known to be part of this country, and we are not. We are seen as different. Invad ers. Participant 0074 This theme may be the most important to the eventual educational attainment of Latino youth in north c entral Indiana. Respondents from this study demonstrated a distinct desire to be tter themselves. Factors that influenced this theme are: Parental desires, parental involvement, desire to better oneself, value of educacion value of respect, lack of motivation, and community unity. Being able to continue this value will become increasingly important if the mainstream society in the United States does not learn to accept the Latino culture. This idea is especially transcende nt across family makes it all the easier for a community to become self sustaining and self efficient in a society that has traditionally held back Latino immigrants. W ith this belief Latino parents are driving their children to become more than successful than they are and helping the community as a whole. Many of the participants came to the United States for this reason alone; to give their family a better opportunity to become more successful. As we come from your kids so that they work hard because they are in this country and there are more opportunities and more for them since they are from here and are bilingual. Participant 0088 I think that the best advice is to have a good education and adapt where we are now in days, where ever we are. We, Latino s, come from different cultures and that can change our ideas towards others. We have to see that all cul tures are good. Participant 0072

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57 Evidence from this study demonstrated that the United States is a place where Latino youth can become successful. It may be difficult but there is opportunity for families and individuals to grow and develop educationally and financially. The Latino participants in this study showed extreme resiliency to external barriers in dedication to change their current state. Participants stated: When I had arrived, well I had studied university for 2 years. I had a technical career of teaching. I wanted to study here because I did not want to go to a factory. I went to career center. I had a niece who went to translate for me. She went with me for 15 days and then the rest of the two years, I went by myself. It was hard. I was pregn ant when I was still there. I still did it. Participant 0074 To be educated academically has to come from me or else I will never achieve it. decide to study, no one will achi eve it. So it has to start in me, but that start with motivation and incentive. Looking at this, look at me, look there, what is it that you want to do? Participant 0086 Many families realized that the best way to make sure their children would become successful is by providing them an avenue to be successful in their education. difference in their own family but as a way to model for the rest of the community. This w as consistent with previous research of Viramontez, Salinas and Garcia, ( 2010) In this article research focused on the importance of familismo as source of collectivism for Latino communities especially when confronted with important socials issues such as educational attainment. The current study deciphered that these participants showed their academic success as a way to motivate others and show them that there is a way to keep

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58 their traditional familial cultural beliefs while adapting and succeeding in American culture. Participants stated: Our own family has told us, and admire us, because we were able to educate our to wear something, but not here. More than anything, th e example and education you got to give it to them when they are kids. Even though they have their 24 years I tell them to go get something, and they get it. On the other hand, I have here are kids 8 years old that rebel against their parents. And that is wrong. What is happening? The values are getting lost, but the parents are the ones to blame because there are kids that already have piercings and with their hair standing up. They gi ve them the freedom to do whatever they want. So when those kids are 13 or 14, they Participant 0079 The idea of keeping traditional beliefs became a major issue within the participants. Many of the participants reported that over time motivation became an issue. It seemed as though many people in the Latino culture lost the drive to better themselves and had accepted a role in poverty. This concept is supported by Arbona & Jimenez (2014) who stated that as academic goals diminish, motivation diminished as well. This also seemed to enrage many of the participants that were involved in the education of their children. There became an awakening by these participants to encoura ge other community. This finding reflected Delgado Gaitan (1992). School matters in the Mexican American home: Socializing children to education article that discussed the importance of balancing Latino family values and mainstream education. For Delgado Gaitan the importance of an equilibrium or acculturation was critical to the success of Latino youth education. Participants shared in rich descriptions their importanc e of this balance.

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59 Specially those of us who understand and walk in education. A lot of it has to do with educating the parents in how to help and encourage their kids. I think the only way in our situation, in my personal and group situation, is that we d have time or resources, but if we could connect with the liaisons, to connect with the schools and to do a campaign, connected with everyone there who work there and they can do more work and we can help them. We can meet and say what can we do with t hese people who are not graduating. Participant 0088 I am trying to be more involved in everything. I learned this because in the same I hear from them and so I decide d to try to go. I remember going straight from work without eating. It is important to be there. Participant 0072 These participants appeared to come to the understanding that if they do not fight for a better life as a community, nobody else will do it for them. It became the responsibility of each member of the community to look after each other and to educate one another on what is out there. Learning what is available to members of this community seemed to be very difficult. With the constant f ear of deportation, many Latino s seemed to be afraid to talk about what opportunities are out there for their children. By doing so, students and parents simply attended classes rather than discovering that there are still opportunities for students to go to coll ege. This reality of li ving in fear has become a major issue for immigrant Latino families especially those who live undocumented or in mix legal status households ( Perez, Espinoza, Ramos, Coronado, Cortes, 2009 ; Becerra, Androff, Cimino, Wagaman, & Blanchard, 2012) critical to understand their importance of unity. Participants continued to drill down on for their youth educational success.

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60 For this participants discussed: And to educate ourselves about education, of what is happening here. Many of us o urselves and in that way having the knowledge of what is happening, and to be able to accompany the parents, the schools so that our children have better access Participant 100 One motivation that I have seen work is the example. I came here from my country old, at 27 without any English. I learned English at 27. I took the GED course in English and I p assed it. I took classes at Ivy tech and I passed them. That example when I tell my kids, why not them, it? So I thin k that that is one has to do. To motivate them through example, give them support. We see that Anglos and large institutions can give scholarships, now we, the Hispanics of Goshen are thinking of gathering money to give scholarships to undocumented students so that works as motivation. T Hispanic student needs, motivation. They have talent, capacity, and intelligence. Participant 0138 Furthermore, this idea of unity and motivation really showed the true idea of how to better the education and future of children from this ar ea. On multiple occasions participants called out for more unity in the community. They asked for a way to bring people together, to talk, share experiences, and to help each other in a fear free environment. By unifying the community there is hope for a b etter life for all members of the society. As discussed in Parson, Palacios, Guzman, & Reyes (2011) the importance of community of unity and its impact educational success was becoming more of focal point for Latino families in north central Indiana. Speci fically participants stated: of course we can be a bigger group, a group that listens to us. But let us not be a group that only speaks, but that we are involved, that we help. Participant 0105

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61 I think there must be much more motivation from t he parents towards the kids in the theme of education. There are parents who never went to school, or did only until third grade, so how can they encourage education if they never succeeded in that area? The large majority of our kids come from parents who anything there and came to find a life. Participant 0086 Through the research, the notion of social capital across all the system especially at the micro, meso exo, and macro system level was critical. The call for community resembled ( Rivas Drake & Mooney, 2009 ) research that saw the importance of social networks through community solidarity and unity as critical to Latino families and their youth education success. This idea of unity and motivation in this community could become the most impactful way to truly bring about aid to the educational barrie rs that affect Latino youth in north c entral Indiana. This method does not require anything else other than the grit and determination this population already exhibits. There is no need for ex ternal circumstances to play a part in this success, only the hard work of the community itself. In this way, children, parents, teacher, and principles can all work together to greatly impact the lives of so many. Unity and motivation within a community does not require money or that persons all speak English. By simply using traditional beliefs of a collectivist society, information about education can be shared to the masses. This access to knowledge about education could lead to staggering results. Pre vious research has shown that the community was speaking out for more social capital between the interaction between Latino families, schools and communities ( Lopez and Viramontez Anguiano, 2013 ) As documented in previous research the importance of this c apital along with cultural capital, human capital and financial capital would serve as bridges to the youth educational success.

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62 The majority of Anglo people here see us a certain way, but if we change that view by helping each other, they will see us dif ferently. Participant 0071 Yea, if a leader is giving a good guide, everything or everyone will follow someone who is going through a good path. A good path is one of the values of a Hispanic Participant 0072

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63 Chapter V D I SCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RE SEARCH ctors that served as strengths or challenges in the educational success of the families and their youth in north central Indiana. The objective of this study was to find which themes affected the relation between the children of Latino immigrant children a nd the educational attainment through the eyes of parents and leaders in the community. Importantly, it seemed that the educational experiences of immigrant Latino youths showed similarities between difficulties and strengths in the educational experience. Specifi cally, this data showed the interactions between families and the educational system. These interactions play an important part in the educational attainment of Latino youth in north central Indiana. In this way it became important to note that t Model (1989) helped explain the ethnographic experiences within this community. Thematic results showed direct relationships with the interactions between different levels of the Ecolog ational attainment was related with each of the five systems associated with the Ecological This acculturation process was demonstrated through parents stating their children desires were to attend college or go to trade school to pursue their dreams. Tienda and

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64 Haskins (2011) also stated that this educational development was crucial for students to integrate into the society in the United States Through this idea, the better the educational experience is, the more likely that the student will be able to integrate and have more future opportunities. This study contributes to previous literature by finding key themes which can be associated with the educational development of immigrant students in the United States It is believed that this data, though from a small part of the country, could be expanded across the nation. From this study, four ke y themes emerged as a way to show the relation between ecological factors and needs development. Each of these themes were based on cultural relevancy and were specific to the educational experiences of Latino youth in north central Indiana. These themes a re important because with a lack of knowledge and understanding of a population, it is imperative to understand what is available for this community (Perez, Espinoza, Ramos, Coronado, Cortes, 2009). Creating a holistic understanding of the population would possibly result in a better understanding of how to help this population. Limitations to this Study This was a secondary data study which resulted in some limitations. One limitation was that it was only possible for the researcher to look at the rich descriptions from the original data and not to experience interactions with the participants. This can unfortunately lead to quality information being left out or context being misinterpreted. Also, original data was collected using Spanish rather than English. With data being translated from Spanish to English, context and richness of the data can be lost. This

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65 provides a way for direct translation to be slightly off while bein g able to maintain an understanding of the true nature of the responses. Another limitation to this study looks at a population that is so varied in culture and traditions that it is impossible to create an all encompassing experience of immigrant Latino youth in the educational system in the United States With a majority of the participants coming from Mexico, many Mexican values outweighed other Latino cultures. Due to this limitation rather than being a direct observation of Latino culture, the current study was an illustration of the participants. With a sample in one location, experiences outside this location are going to vary as much as the population. Different areas are going to have different programs and funding to help this population. For t his reason, it would be hard to expand the exact educational programs which are present in this study. It may be seen as beneficial to have data from other locations to understand the broader context of education for Latino s in the United States Strength s to this Study A major strength of this study is the ethnographic methods and snowball sampling process. This data leads to deep richness of Latino families in their educational experience effects directs to deep meaningful results. These results provide a solid basis for the true experiences encountered in north central Indiana. This data collection method made it possible for cultural, linguistic, and social difficulties to be overcome. It is important to note that with the difficulty of gaining quality information from delicate populations, quality of responses can outweigh quantity of responses. With populations such as this, trust and finding an actual representation of the target population are major

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66 obstacles. This adds to the importance of creating deep, meaningful, and personal relationships with the population. As this population continues to grow, so will be the need to keep current information available to better serve educational needs. One strength of this study is that data was the result of three years of research. Due to the changing environment of this population, there will be a need to continue new research on this population. For this reason, it could be argued that this study will only be relevant for a shorter time as compared to other studies. To combat this argument it is important to note that spreading the ideas of this study as quickly as possible is key to implementation. This enables research to be relevant and allow fellow researchers to spread conclusions and data. This will ad d increasingly relevant conclusions and qualitative data for creation of intervention programs for this population. Interpretation of Results Theme 1: Educational Cultural Differences between the United States and This theme illus trated the importance of culturally contextualizing and defining the value of education. Data from this study de monstrated that Latino s identified two types of education in their family context. One occurs in the home ( educacion ) and the in a formal educational context in the classroom The findings in this study demonstrated that often parents struggled with mainstream educational systems. Moreover, the discontinuity between educacion and educatio n was apparent in the findings. This rese arch reinforced the previous literature that has documented the intersection between Latino families, schools and communities (Guzman, Jara, Armet, & Reyes, 2011).

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67 Unfortunately, 42% of Latino s in north central Indiana h ad less than a ninth grade formal ed ucation level As a result the re was discontinuity between the Latino families and the mainstream educational systems T he families were struggling to adjust to the cultural differences in supporting their children to succeed. These findings were consis ten t with the previous research that has documented this fragile balance between Latino s and educational systems (Guinn, Vincent, Wang, & Villas, 2011). Moreover, it was evident that almost all the respondents were engaging in educacion within the larger fami lismo value system which reinforced the importance of the family context and the collectivistic nature of Latino s (Chaves Korell, Benson Florez, Rendon, & Farias, 2013). What comes from the data is the importance to build up the importance of formal educa tion and parental involvement in formal education. While working with this population, it is important to acknowledge the difference between education and educacion Participants stated that many times parents were not making aiding their children's formal e ducation a priority. More investigation in this area will need to demonstrate the importance utilizing both of these concepts to better the educational attainment of Latino youth in north central Indiana. Drawing cultural connections to the idea of educa cion to formal education could produce significant gains in parental involvement and educational experiences. Theme 2: Adversity in Access to Educational Resources Previous research has demonstrated that parental involvement is key in the development of e ducational attainment of Latino children (Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan Silva, 2011). The findings from this study demonstrated that for Latino parents being involved was often a struggle as a result of their legal status or lack of formal

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68 education Often parents shared that they were frustrated wi th circumstances surrounding their children's education As a result of language and other differences, parents were not able to access all the educational resources that were made to them by the school dis tricts. An important finding related to the theme accessing education was the critical educational outreach that the school liaisons were providing for the immigrant Latino families in north central Indiana. As documented by the families the school liaiso n was not only their cultural and linguistic adviser, but rather this person served as an advocate for their families in the school and the community. This finding contributed to the literature by demonstrating the critical relationship between mesosystems and how school personnel can serve as a vital role in La tino families and their youth education. Moreover, for some Latino families the liaison often served as a translator and educational gate keeper. By doing so, the school liaisons became part of the collective Latino reality in north central Indiana. This f inding has rarely been documented in the research and warrants further investigation in the family and education literature. These school liaisons were certainly an intricate part of the access to educational resources. This study also demonstrated that many times these liaisons were unable to reach all students that needed aid. Liaison's reported that the schools were overwhelmed with the amount of students and the availability of parents. Participants stated that while gang violence was occurring, there was not enough help from the liaisons. While comparing the perceptions of both parents and liaisons, there is an obvious disconnect. Both sides show distain about the amount of assistance being presented to this community. Rather than bla ming each other, more research with school liaisons and

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69 Latino families is needed to see how more programs can be create d to better serve Latino students in north central Indiana. Theme 3: Public Policy and Perception The public policy and perceptions in north c entral Ind iana were divided. Data from this studied showed that some of the mainstream people were still unwilling to fully accept the immigrant Latino families in the region. They often were not responsive to aiding this community through separating themselves from the Latino community P revious research stated that this community also held the same beliefs by voting for anti immigration policies (Viramontez Anguiano, Reyes and Chavez, 2013). However, the majority of the mainstream community and schools were not only accepting but also often aided these families in the acculturation process The finding showed policies and practices that often aided the families and their children in learning English and providing educational services. This finding was consistent with other research that has demonstrated when mainstream communities are more empathetic the more successful the newly arrived immigrant population (Messerli, 2008). The findings de monstrated that the policies and practices did not come without controversy. In particular the ENL program which would be considered the exosystem was often debated by the Latino s. Although most of the families valued the programs services they disagreed o n how long Latino s should be enrolled in the program. For some parents they believed that this program was separating their children from the more rigorous curriculum and maintaining the current status quo This finding contributed to the literature by dem onstrating that policies and practices should take into consideration the diversity of learners within Latino student population.

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70 The ENL program will continue be a target of discrepancy until something is changed. There is no clear answer on how to change this problem. As children immigrate into the region at different ages, access and knowledge of English will vary as well. Future research is needed to see the effects of integrating the Latino population into the mainstream society. Data suggest ed that this program represents the goals of the community. Many mainstream citizens are willing to help while others are trying to separate the Latino population. Through integrating the Latino population while attending classes with mainstream students, perception of both Latinos and mainstream students who are not willing to accept this population may change. This theme demonstrated that the participants of this study aimed to better their lives through e ducation, motivation, and unity within the community. Tienda and Haskins (2011) support evidence for this theme by stating that many Latino families found hope for a better life in the United States The current study further ed this claim as it was a belief that through this education, there would be more opportunities available for their children than in their homelands. Tienda Sierra, Carrillo, DeSipio & Jones Correa (2000), state that this concept has been around for decades. Participants from the current study stated that their lives were di fficult and that they must work to better their situati ons. Participants seemed disappointed when other Latino youth were not pushing themselves educationally. This collectivist nature is well documented and acts as a strength of the community (Chavez Korell, Benson Florez, Rendon, & Farias, 2013). In this manner it was t he goal of the community to encourage Latino students educationally.

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71 Evidence from this study acknowledged a desire by participants to be involved in their children's education. This parental involvement was important culturally to the participants. This finding expands on previous research from Guzman, Reyes, Palacios, & Carolan Silva (2011) who found similar findings. T h rough this parental involvement, the families were reinforcing and requesting more motivation for their children in their education. Many participants felt that due to their documentation status, they must live in a state of fear while in the United States This fear demonstrated that many participants were calling for unity within the community. Participants stated that they wanted a place to sit and share ideas without fear of documentation status to understand what re sources were available to them. For Future Theoretical and Practice Based Research Future research should implement culturally relevant practices when investigating the educational experience of Latino children/youth and how this affects educational attainment. For example theoretical based research could utilize Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (1943). This theoretical research could provide evidence of growth for Latino families in north central Indiana in their educational experience. Specifically in this study and the larger Latino family research project data provided evi dence that the more positive the educational experience, the greater the student seemed to develop educationally ( Appendix D ). Preliminary findings in this study found evidence that the less the student was adaptin g to the educational experience, the more foundational levels of need were not obtained. This was reported by the parents by stating that their children only believed that they would be able to work in the factories and did not pursue their own interests.

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72 Previous studies, including Tienda and Haskins (2011), stated that this is common with new immigrants as they focus on providing economic support for thei r families. Another preliminary finding stated students that were more acculturated to the educational system in the United States appeared to be able to achieve higher levels of need such as Self Actualization. Future applied research is needed to provide evidence that implementing cultural relevance would affect the growth associated with the Hierarchy of Needs. Children need that they see at home, this connection can be made. This research could include using ideas of familismo educacion and respecto within the classroom. Maintaining cultural values plays an important part in the social development of Latino youth and teachers can implement the same values into the classroom. This could greatly affect the motivation of Latino students by drawing connections betw een education in the home and education in the classroom. Also, implementing culturally relevant ideas such as Latino based religion and spirituality into coursework may also create intrinsic motivation to do better in school. Though this implementation c ould be controversial, the value of religion was mentioned twenty times as a key strength within this community. It is hypothesized that using religious morals with this population could affect disciplinary issues positively. Future research with this idea could identify religious (especially Catholic) morals and implement them into the classroom. Even if beliefs in religion and spirituality are not mentioned the morals behind this belief could have profound educational implications for this population.

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73 Implications and Conclusion This study demonstrates that there are difficulties and strengths associated with education of Latino youth in north central Indiana. With this research, there can be added hope for future educational experiences of Latino youth Teachers, community members and political figures can use this research as a way to see the ecological factors that are affecting the educational development of Latino students. It is important to understand that the education of a student is not simply based on what occurs in the classroom, but rather the access of the family to aid this student. Barriers that can affect this to name a few. While looking at this dat a, it appeared that there are many participants were seeking to better their education, but simply do not know how to receive this aid. When students, teachers, community leaders, and principles work together, this access to information becomes a reality. The lasting contribution that came from this research study was the call for motivation and unity by this pop ulation. This call for unity crossed both strengths and difficulties. Rather, it was a dream and a goal for a better life for this community. Comm unity members made it apparent that they wanted a way to get people together free from fear to discuss what is available and how to work together. By doing so, all p eople within this community would benefit. Teachers would be better able to understand what div erse students need. Parents would know how to get involved regardless and cultural, educational, or socioecono mic status. Public officials w ould look at how to structure the educational policy to address needs of the culturally diverse communities. By providing this help students may receive additional motivation to succeed in school. This would

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74 only better their educational attainment and their eventual future success. Unity in the community seems like a very basic idea, but it takes the coll ective efforts of many people to reach this goal Once this is accomplished, it may be beneficial to look at implementing diverse cultural beliefs into the educational system. Families showed that values and morals were very important in rearing their children f rom an early age. As found in this study by implementing traditional relevant information into education, Latino students may be able to draw more meaning and relevance to educational materials. Also, when a student educationally succeeds a teacher could r ely on using culturally significant beliefs to better in the classroom w ould modify the mainstream model of education to make a better fit for new Latino immigrants in United States Utilizing diverse cu rriculums alongside mainstream curriculum w ould help Latino especially immigrant students make the atmosphere would then be more cultura lly relevant and better equipped for promoting advanced educational attainment of Latino students.

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75 R EFERENCES Aganza, J. S., Godinez, A., Smith, D., Gonzalez, L. G., & Robinson Zaartu, C. (2015; 2014). Using cultural assets to enhance assessment of Latino students. Contemporary School Psychology, 19 (1), 30 45. doi:10.1007/s40688 014 0041 7 Arbona, C., & Jimenez, C. (2014). Minority stress, ethnic identity, and depression among Latino /a college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 61 (1), 162 168. doi:10.1037/a0034914 Aretakis, M. T., Ceballo, R., Suarez, G. A., & Camacho, T. C. (2015). Investigating the immigrant paradox and Latino Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 3 (1), 56 69. doi:10.1037/lat0000031 Armstrong, G., & Rosbrook Thompson, J. (2010). Coming to America: Historical ontologies and United States soccer. Global Studies in Culture and Power 17 (4), 348 371. doi:10.1080/1070289x.2010.492295 Becerra, D., Androff, D., Cimino, A., Wagaman, M.A., & Blanchard, K.N. (2013). The impac t of perceived discrimination and immigration policies upon perceptions of quality of life among Latino s in the United States Race a nd Social Problems 5 (1), 65 78. doi:10.1007/s12552 012 9084 4 Bronfenbrenner, U. (1989). Ecological systems theory. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Annals of Child development: Vol. 6. Six theories of child development revised formulations an d Current issues (pp. 187 249). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. Chavez Korell, S., Benson Florez, G., Rendon, A., & Farias, R. (2013). Examining the

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77 energy balance behaviors in high risk children. Obesity: A r esearch j ournal 18 (S1), S75 S83. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.435 Herring, D. N. (2014). A purposeful collaboration: Using a library course enhancement grant program to enrich ESL instruction. The Reference Librarian, 55(2), 128 143. doi:10.1080/02763877.2014.880317 Lpez, A ., & Rubn P Viramontez Anguiano. (2013). Mennonite country: The role of Latina leaders in the familial, social, and educational outreach of immigrant Latino families in north central Indiana. Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences 105(3), 22. doi:10.14307/JFCS105.3.7 Maslow, A.H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motiv ation. Originally published in P sychological R eview, 50, 370 396. Classics in the History of Psychology. York University, Toronto.[Online].[Accessed 4th March 2014]. Available from World Wide Web:< http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Maslow/motivation.htm Maloney, K., & Saunders, T. (2004). Mentoring minority students. Educational Leadership 62 (3), 78 80. Mellender G. A. (2013). Hispanic successes. Outlook in Higher Education 24 (1), 20 22. Retrieved from http://0 search.proquest.com.skyline.ucdenver.edu / docview/1442513357? accountid=14506 Messeri, I. S. (2008). Vamos, vamos aceirteros: Soccer and the Latino community in Richmond California. Soccer and Society 9 (3), 416 427. doi: 10.1080/14660970802009031

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78 Mendez, F. (2005). Inequality and Growth: Theory and Policy Implications. The Economic Journal, 115 (501), F143 F144. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0013 0133.2005.976_6.x/abstract Moses, L., Busetti Frevert, R., & Pritchard, R. (2015). Inquiry as ESL. The Reading Teacher, 68(6), 435 447. doi:10.1002/trtr.1333 Nelson, L., & Hiemstra, N. (2008). Latino immigrants and the renegotiation of place and belonging in small town America. Social and Cultural Geography 9 (3), 319 342. doi:10.1080/14649360801990538 Passel, J. S. (2006). The size and characteristics of the unauthorized migration population in the U.S.: Estimates based on the March 2005 current population survey. Washington, DC: Perez, W., Espinoza, R., Ramos, K., Coronado, H. M., & Cortes, R. (2009) Academic resilience among undocumented Latino students. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences [H.W.Wilson SSA], 31(2), 149. Pew Research Center Washington DC. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/topics/education/ Pia Watson, B., Lpez, B., Ojeda, L. and Rodriguez, K. M. (2015), Cultural and cognitive predictors of academic motivation among Mexican American adolescents: Caution against discounting the im pact of cultural processes. Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Dev elopmen t, 43: 109 121. doi: 10.1002/j.2161 1912.2015.00068.x

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79 Quirk, M., Nylund Gibson, K., & Furlong, M. Exploring patterns of Latino /a children's school readiness at kindergarten entry and their relations with Grade 2 achievement. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 28 437 449. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://.www.sciencedirect.com.skyline.ucdenver.edu /science/article/pii/S0885200612001159 Latino s in North Central Indiana: A demographic profile (1st ed.). Goshen, IN: Goshen College, Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning. Rhodes, J. E. (2005). A model of youth mentoring. In D.L. Dubois & M.J. Karcher (Eds.) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp.30 43) Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage. Rocha, R. R., & Matsubayashi, T. (2012). Latino immigration and representation in local politics. Urban Affairs Review 49 (3), 353 380. doi: 10.1177/1078087412459719 Rivas Drake, D., & Mooney, M. (2009). Neither colorblind nor oppositional: Perceived M ino rity status and trajectories of academic adjustment among Latino s in elite higher education. Developmental Psychology 45 (3), 642 651. doi: 10.1037/a0014135 Rivera, G. J. (2014). What high achieving Latino students need to apply to college: Environmental factors, individual resiliency, or both? Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 36(3), 284 300. Salinas, J., Viramontez Aguiano, R., & Ibrahim, A. (2008). Migrant consciousness: Education, metissage and the politics of farmworking in Lat ino communities. Philosophical Studies in Education 39 87 96.

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80 Salinas, J. P. (2008). Educational experiences of children in the migrant stream: Ecological factors necessary for academic success (Published doctoral dissertation). Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. Samson, J., & Lasaux, N. (2015). Disadvantaged Language Minority Students and Their Teachers: A National Picture. Teachers College Record 117 (2), 1 26. Social Science Research Solutions. (2013). Hispanic trends project pol l database. In Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project Washington D.C.: PEW Research Center Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/ Sierra, C. M., Carrillo, T., DeSipio, L., & Jones Correa, M. (2000). Latino immigration and citizenship. Political Science and Politics 33 (3), 535 540. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/420855 Spradley, J. P. (1979). The ethnographic interview. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Parson, M., Palacios, J., Guzman, J. C., & Reyes, J. R. (2011). Latino s in North Central Indiana: A historical Account of their settlement (1st ed.). Goshen, IN: Goshen College, Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning. Strand, V., & Bosco Ruggiero, S. (2011). Implementing transfer of learning in training and professiona l development in a us public child welfare agency: what works?. Professional Development in Education 37 (3), 373 387. doi: 10.1080/19415257.2010.509675 Tancredo, T. 2006. In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Secur ity Nashville TN: Cumberland House Publishing.

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81 Thronson, D. B. (2008). Creating crisis: Immigration raids and the destabilization of immigrant families. Wake Forest Law Review, 43 391 Tienda, M., & Haskins, R. (2011). Immigrant children: Introducing the issue. The Future o f Children 21 (1), 3 18. U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics. (2015, May). The Condition of Education Elementary and Secondary Education Student Effort, Persistence and Progress Public High School Graduation Rates Indicator May (2015). Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/in dicator_coi.asp Vega, H. E. Bernardo, & Despradel, R.. (1999). "Migration Trends by Dominicans and Other Caribbean Nationals to the United States ." Washington, DC: Embassy of th e Dominican Republic. Viramontez Anguiano, R. P., Reyes, J. R., & Chavez, J. M. (2013). El cambio, el callejn, el pueblo, y la migra* : An examination of ecological influences on immigrant Latino familie ndiana. Family Science Review 18 (1), 2013. Viramontez Anguiano, R. P., Salinas, J P., & Garcia, R. L. (2010). Para servir: Social capital among Latino families in northwest Ohio. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 102 (3), 22 27. Weiler, L. M., Zimmerman, T. S., Haddock, S. and Krafchick, J. (2014), Understanding th e experience of mentor families in therapeutic youth J ournal of Community Psychol o gy 42 80 98. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21595

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82 APPENDIX APPENDIX A: U niversity of Colorado Denver ; Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board Approval

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83 APPENDIX B: L atino Family Interview Protocol Latino Family Protocol Demographic Information 1 Male_____/Female______ 2 Years of Education Completed_______: Degree/Diploma_______, Latin America_________and or United States _______ 3 Age______ 4 Occupation__________ 5 How many children do you have______ 6 What is your ethnic background? Latino please be specific_____________, European American________, African American___________, Asian American/Asian Pacific Islander____________, Native American________________, Other____________. Family P erspective 7. Please describe what your experience has been like in the _______ community? Please provide examples? 8. If you work, please describe how your work experience has been? Please provide examples? 9. If you are not from Northeast Indiana, how have you adapted to this region? Please provide examples? 10. If you are from Northeast Indiana, please describe your experiences from living in this region? Please provide examples? 11. Please describe your family values and beliefs? 12. What do you consider to be importa nt Latino family values and beliefs? 13. How have your values impacted your education and life? 14. What does education and educacion mean to you? How are they different? 15. What do you consider to be a quality education? Can you provide me an example? 16. What does compassion mean to you? How can a Latino be compassionate? 17. What does character mean to you? What does character mean when describing a Latino ?

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84 18. What does competence mean to you? What does competence mean when describing a Latino ? 19. What does community se rvant hood mean to you? What does serving the community mean when describing a Latino ? 20. How do Latino children learn about serving and leading from their families? Please provide examples? 21. What are important values that Latino families pass on to their children about serving and leading? Please provide examples? 22. What is the role of Latino families in the educational success of their Latino youth? 23. What is the role of Latino families in the educational success of other Latino children in the schools and the Latino community? 24. examples of your interactions with the school?

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85 APPENDIX C: L atino Family Consent Form Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning (CITL) 1700 South Main Street Goshen, Indiana 46526 p 574.535.7800 f 574.535.7840 www.citl.goshen.edu General Adult Informed Consent Letter Hello my name is Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano and I am an Associate Professor and Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning at Goshen College and I am conducting a study on Latino families and education in Northeast Indiana. Specifically, this study will focus on understanding how different ecological factors includin g but not limited to family cultural values, family involvement, community involvement and leadership, educational involvement and leadership, educational and social policies, migration and immigration realities and economic factors impact the educational motivation and success of Latino students at the pre college, transition to college and college levels in Northeastern Indiana. This study will benefit the scholarly research by extending the Latino family and educational research in the Midwest. Moreover, another benefit of the study is that the findings could aid helping professionals in the community and student services professionals who serve Latino students in Northeastern Indiana. This research will be conducted through sound culturally sensitive res earch. We hope that you will participate in our study. Your participation in the study is voluntary and at anytime during the study you may withdraw. The risks of this study are no greater than those normally encountered in everyday life. Thus, individuals who identify themselves as Latino s/as, community members and/or leaders who serve the Latino community and school personnel who serve students and their families are eligible for the study. You will be asked to participate potentially in one or more of the following interviews depending on your availability and if the interview or observation pertains to you. Those interviews include one hour open ended interviews, focus groups or an observation. We would also appreciate it if we could au dio record your interview. Interviews will be conducted in Spanish or English depending on your preference. The interviews will be conducted in an available and safe location for both the respondent and the researcher. The audiotapes will be transcribed an d translated so that the data can be used to write research manuscripts, research reports, create presentations and for other work related to the research.

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86 I will make every effort to preserve your confidentiality. Your interview and the audiotape from y our interview will be kept in a locked filing cabinet in my office. Only my research team and myself will see the collected data. Information from this research will be used solely for the purpose of this study, publications, and any presentation or work t hat may result from it. All research material will be stored and eventually included in an archive. Your name will not be used in the research or the archive at any time during the study or any other work related to the research. Only gender will be used t o identify individuals. Also only gender will be used in the archived information. If you have any questions about the research, please contact me at *********. If you have questions about the conduct of this study or rights as a research participant you may contact the Director/Research Compliance Officer at Goshen College at (**********) Thank you for your time and if you agree to participate in the study please print and sign your name. _______________________________ __________________ Date _______________________________ __________________ Date

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87 APPENDIX D: T hesis Diagram