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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Smart: Growing up Gifted and Brown in Southeast Los Angeles

  • Author(s): Vertiz, Vickie
  • Advisor(s): Davis, Michael R.
  • Hammer, Stephanie B.
  • et al.

How does a girl from a working-class Latino family make her way to the most elite liberal arts college in the country? Only by applying, both consciously and not, her formal schooling and the hard lessons she learned at home. From the clogged Long Beach Freeway to the two-lane highways of the Berkshire Mountains, this story illustrates how a girl was shaped by her many educations, pursuing knowledge that holds one key to success, but that, at times, dismissed her family’s value and legacy of labor.

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