From «Vergüenza» to «Échale Ganas»
Chapter 3. El Que Persevera Triunfa
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EL QUE PERSEVERA TRIUNFA (WHOEVER PERSEVERES, TRIUMPHS)
When I started teaching high school in North Carolina in 1999, it was very difficult for some Latino/Latina teenagers to remain in school. A few of them had already quit their schools back home before even entering the U.S., and some others never completed elementary or middle school. Others did not know how to deal with issues of discrimination, the new language at school, and new cultural ways of being in U.S. society. Most of them, especially boys, decided to quit school to support their parents, help their younger siblings, and/or send money back home. There were only a few boys who decided to challenge society and expectations of failure and remain in school.
There were times when I felt frustrated and overwhelmed from witnessing so many Latino students abandon school to join their parents and friends in factories, landscaping, and/or fast food restaurants. Since some became young parents and felt the responsibility of their new roles as parents, their education was no longer a priority. Some thought that because of their immigration status in the country, it was a waste of time to be in school if they could not attend college. Others got in trouble with the law and ended up in jail or dead.
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