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High School Latinx Counternarratives

Experiences in School and Post-graduation


Juan A. Ríos Vega

This book represents an ethnographic study of the experiences and counternarratives of twelve Latinx young adults. All of the participants in this study are first generation immigrants to the United States, representing different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and immigration statuses. Drawing from Latino Critical Theory (LatCrit) and Queers of Color Epistemologies as a theoretical framework, this book analyzes the personal experiences of Latinx during and after finishing high school. This book uses a classroom project (dialogue journals) to reconnect with twelve former English language learners (ELLs) from the Southeast after ten years. Through the use of dialogue journals as an English as a second language (ESL) strategy to support writing, the participants in this book document personal and communal experiences as Latinx immigrants in the United States. This book will represent an excellent asset for teachers, school administrators, counselors, staff, preservice teachers, practicing educators, graduate students, scholars, and policymakers.

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In memory of Sheila Sixtos and William Hernandez

In memory of Sheila Sixtos and William Hernandez



Sheila is my name and it has a weird meaning. It is something about flowers and heaven. I have never paid attention to it; it’s just my name, the way people call me. The reason why my parents decided to name me Sheila has a funny story. My mom and my Aunt Patty were pregnant at the same time. One day while they were at the mall buying clothes for the babies, they decided to watch a movie. It was a beautiful movie about a princess from England named Sheila. The story was awesome. It talked about the power of love and dreams. It showed that with love everything is possible. My Aunt loved that name and she decided to name her baby daughter like that. My mom liked the name too, but the doctors had told her that I was going to be a boy. But the funny thing about my name is that I was born first and when the doctors told my mom that I was a girl, she decided to name me Sheila. My Aunt got so mad at my mom because of what she had done. My Aunt didn’t talk to my mom for two months until my cousin was born. When her daughter was born, she didn’t think about how she was going to name her baby girl. Finally, she named her Mitzi. I know it is a weird name, but it’s not that ugly, well compared to mine, it is ugly....

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