Cultura Within : designing workshops and transitional objects that empower young Latina women to persevere in higher education
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Latinos are one of the fastest-growing ethnic minority groups in the United States. Yet they have the lowest college graduation rate of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. This report documents self-reflective, participatory processes I used, based on my personal experience as a Latina in higher education, to design engaging workshops and transitional objects to support the Latina community at the University of Texas at Austin. I propose that workshops promoting awareness of structural barriers, coaching in self-reflective techniques, and the co-creation of totemic objects that serve as transitional objects and aides-mémoires can empower young Latina women to persevere in higher education. The workshops were designed to use group storytelling, self-reflection and sharing methods to educate and empower young Latinas to create an on-going sense of agency and build stronger communities within higher education.