Empowering Latino Parents to Transform the Education of Their Children

Mikulas Pstross, Ariel Rodríguez, Richard Knopf, Cody Morris Paris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article emphasizes the role of parental involvement in the college preparation of Latino elementary and secondary school students. Although literature shows that education is highly valued in Latino families, actual college enrollment rates for Latino youth are below average. This has been attributed to barriers including lack of financial resources, problems in communication with schools, and low familiarity with the college planning process. The American Dream Academy is a university outreach program that is designed to help Latino families overcome these barriers. We conducted a qualitative analysis of speeches that were prepared and delivered by parents at graduation ceremonies of the program from 2007 to 2009. Our analysis revealed six themes: facing challenges, envisioning success, understanding the school system, taking ownership, community raising a child, and creating a supportive home environment. The findings enrich existing literature and help understand the complex systems that are at play with parental involvement in Latino families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-671
Number of pages22
JournalEducation and Urban Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • multi-cultural education
  • schools
  • students
  • teachers
  • urban education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies


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