Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Ernesto Colin

Second Advisor

Terese Aceves

Third Advisor

Joy Ee


Eurocentric and marginalizing schooling practices hinder Latino student persistence in US Schools. Furthermore, an intentional focus placed on Latinas uncovers compounding layers of oppression permeating the educational system. Through an analysis of testimonios, this qualitative critical narrative study better understands the schooling experiences and academic self-concept of seven Latina junior high students. Guided by Latino Critical Race (LatCrit) and Intersectionality Theories, it contributes to understandings of how Latina youth experience the transition from elementary to junior high school and how they perceived themselves as scholars. Testimonios were captured through a three-part series of semi-structured videoconference interviews. Data analysis utilized tenets from both LatCrit and Intersectionality frameworks and revealed navigating academic challenges, language challenges in the classroom, and overall belonging were key for participants. Gender and ethnic identity also surfaced as significant factors that impact academic self-concept of Latina student's academic perceptions. The findings lead to suggestions for liberatory pedagogical, political, and social schooling practices.