Diana Cervantes Martinez: M.A., Higher and Postsecondary Education

– Traditional college-going
students go to college to find themselves. Because I was a first-generation student, I didn’t have that mentality. Teachers College gave me the
opportunity to learn more about myself, and to learn more about who I want to be. It has been a very reflective journey. I experience a lack of mentorship
as a high school student. No one’s gonna go out of their
way to come into my community and pull out the black and
brown kids that have potential. Students are systematically
pushed out of the system, and that when they get to college, they experience isolation. They experience marginalization, and they don’t have a sense of belonging. When I was in Dr. Cortina’s class, Latinos in Urban Schools,
we read an article that stated that Latino
male high school students have two languages, yet nobody chooses to listen to either of them. I have two younger siblings,
and I experience my sibling getting pushed out of the system. My long-term goal is to create and direct college access programs for Latino males. Especially in my community.

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