Education and Latina Motherhood: Resilience as a method of survival

Summer 2017

Patricia Hernandez : Chicano Studies

Donor: Leadership Fund
Mentor: Pablo Gonzalez

The percentage of Latinas in higher education has increased over the last 20 years. Yet, this population is often viewed as a homogenous group, obscuring the diversity of experiences Latinas face.  In particular, experiences like those of young Latina mothers are often ignored or absent.  By erasing their experiences, we miss an opportunity to learn about the unique ways that they challenge cultural gendered norms on motherhood and the ways that they navigate normative spaces within the university.  My research project examines the central question: how do Latina mothers navigate and challenge societal and cultural stigmas associated with being Latina and a student parent? Specifically, this research will focus on the challenges Latina mothers face at the community college and university level.

I would like to thank the Leadership Fund for funding my summer project. It allowed me to take on a role that before coming to CAL I never thought feasible. As a underrepresented student of color, I feel that this was a great accomplishment for me and overall amazing experience. I am currently writing an honors thesis as I prepare to apply to graduate school. Due to this experience I am confident that I will be a competitive applicant.