In the article, “Unveiling the Promise of Community Cultural Wealth to Sustaining Latina/o Students’ College-Going Information Networks” (Liou, Antrop-González, & Cooper, 2009) the authors described the elements necessary to propel students of color to succeed in high school and beyond. Additionally, they described how the action or in-actions of the schools studied and their local communities can affect the student success outcomes.
In my opinion, both of the career/college prep counselors (from separate schools) made similar comments that were biased and insensitive. To quote one of the counselors in the article, “I don’t believe that every kid should go to college. These kids are from families where they have little to live on and the best thing for many of them is to get a job” (Liou, Antrop-González, & Cooper, p. 541). This type of mentality is poisonous to a young adult. If a student has a true desire to go to school then this type of “guidance” will quash their dreams and a chance for a better future. What truly infuriated me was the worry that Miguel, one of the students referred to by one of the counselors, might not be able to fix their car. I am astounded that a professional who is counseling young adults is so self-absorbed that they would steer someone away from college. It is well documented that a college education will reap far more benefits than a high school diploma. “In 2002, the Census Bureau projected lifetime earnings of employees with a bachelor’s degree and those without. Non-degree holders could expect to earn 75% less than a bachelor’s degree holder, who could expect to earn $2.7 million over their lifetime” (Education Portal, n.d.). While I understand that some people are drawn to a career, one should never be categorized into a certain profession due to their color, race, etc. After recently reading the article, “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Ingredients for critical teacher reflection” (Howard, 2003) one might venture to guess that the counselors could stand for some self-reflection and work hard to rid themselves of any cultural or color biases in order to provide the best advice to students.
In the article, “Unveiling the Promise of Community Cultural Wealth to Sustaining Latina/o Students’ College-Going Information Networks” (Liou, Antrop-González, & Cooper, 2009) the authors discussed how community cultural wealth, which is a method used to gain a deeper understanding about how low income students of color enact their information seeking behaviors by developing alternative social networks that enable their academic success. In people of color, there are six forms of capital that comprise the community cultural wealth; they are: aspirational, linguistic, social, navigational, familial and resistance. In my opinion, these are the pillars of strength and guidance for any person trying to achieve a goal. The statements from the students demonstrated there is hope beyond their lack of support from some teachers and guidance counselors. The statement, “It takes a village” came to mind when reading about how the students found alternative ways to achieve their dreams.
I am sure there are studies that examine why a student drops out of school and the multitude of reasons why they would not pursue a college education upon high school graduation. It would be interesting to discover if these students would agree that if they had been exposed to various forms of community cultural wealth then their future would have had a different outcome. Additionally, it would be interesting to see if introducing a support system after dropping out of school would enable them to complete a GED or pursue a college education.
How Much More Do College Graduates Earn Than Non-College Graduates? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://education-portal.com/articles/How_Much_More
Howard, T. C. (2003). Culturally Relevant Pedagogy : Ingredients for Critical Teacher Reflection. Theory into Practice, 42(3), 195–202.
Liou, D. D., Antrop-González, R., & Cooper, R. (2009). Unveiling the Promise of Community Cultural Wealth to Sustaining Latina/o Students’ College-Going Information Networks. Educational Studies, 45(6), 534–555. doi:10.1080/00131940903311347