The Macksey Journal


The TRIO program has the ability to mentor Black and Latinx students of color into pathways that can minimize the gap in educational attainment. Stanton-Salazar (2011) explains how mentorship in the form of empowerment agents among working-class students of color furthers their access to institutional support that is empowering for them in combination with their critical consciousness as they navigate STEM as a field and career choice (as cited in V. Pendakur, 2016). In other words, a mentor becomes a tool for action for this student population to transform themselves and their community. The TRIO STEM educators involved in California Lutheran University's TRIO Programs, specifically the Math and Science Upward Bound Program and Centinela Valley Project, address the unique demands and challenges of educating a working-class racially diverse high school student populations from Inglewood, California. These programs' TRIO approach to sustainability and education and as embraced by their STEM educators enriches the fields of Chicana/o/x/a-Latina/o/x/a Studies and S.T.E.M. This research deviates from previous studies because of its emphasis on Inglewood, California. This is a city and population that is limited in educational access resources and in turn, as a city and population has begun to invest itself in the academic success and retention of its high school students. By uncovering student perspectives through a survey and analyzing the approaches of educators through in-depth interviews, I hope to advance a new understanding of Inglewood, California as a population that can transform, sustain, and retain STEM learners from racially diverse backgrounds.