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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Counterstory of an Undergraduate Latina Single Mother at a Research University


Upon my arrival at UCLA as a nontraditional student, I experienced transfer shock that was aggravated by my not being able to find a community of parenting students. I searched for literature that discussed how other undergraduate single mothers were able to navigate the academy but found none. This led to my current research project. My research looks at the obstacles and/or stigmas that undergraduate Latina single mothers experience at a research university and the navigational strategies that they employ in order to navigate their way through the educational pipeline at a research university. After an extensive review of the literature in which I was unable to find works that spoke specifically to the experiences of undergraduate Latina single mothers, I decided to expand my research into ethnography by gathering women’s testimonios (experiential knowledge) in conjunction with critical race theory, community cultural wealth theory, and Chicana Feminist theory. I have created a composite character and have written a counterstory derived from the lived experiences of various undergraduate Latina single mothers at UCLA.

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