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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

This paper presents the analysis of three interviews with Mexican American recent high school graduates to understand how three specific factors of the U.S. education system have benefited their life trajectory. These three factors include positive student-teacher relationships, engagement in extracurricular activities that foster civic engagement, and attention to bicultural education. Literature reports a positive correlation between the aforementioned factors and overall life success for all students but specifically bicultural students. The results of this research support this finding by looking closely at positive schooling experiences three Mexican American students shared. These schooling experiences propelled each of the participants to be accepted to a four-year university. Having joined a jump-start program in order to better prepare for college these participants continued to show engagement with practices that characterize a more successful experience in life fiscally, emotionally, and civically. Thus, education systems which build, and foster environments of self/global awareness, positive student-teacher relations, and community engagement produce better livelihood outcomes for bicultural youth. This is important due to the increasing rates of bicultural youth in the American school systems. When imaging reforms of school in the future, the three aforementioned characteristics should be considered.

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