Latina/o Dropouts: Generating Community Cultural Wealth

Rebeca Burciaga, Nancy Erbstein


This article builds upon a community cultural wealth framework (Yosso, 2005) to discuss how strategies for school persistence are articulated, cultivated and employed through individual aspirations and practices. The analysis draws from testimonios of six Latina/o young adults between the ages of 18 and 20 living in California’s 9-County Sacramento Region who left or considered leaving high school before graduating. Findings suggest that the use of “dropout” to describe students who leave school before graduating both shifts disproportionate blame to them and masks the wealth of insight and experiences these youth contribute to their families, communities, and society. To better understand and address the crisis of low graduation rates for Latinas/os, it is imperative that we include their voices in our quest for addressing disparities that contribute to educational inequities.

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