Essay about Hispanic Girls Growing up on the Border

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Hispanic Girls Growing up on the Border

The Southwest United States is an area of great diversity. It is located on the border between the US and Mexico. In this region there are four main ethnicities represented: Hispanics, African Americans, Anglo Americans, and Native Americans. These groups interact daily working in the same offices and going to school together. Youth of each ethnicity face risks as they grow up. By focusing on the Hispanic adolescent girl the extent of the possible risks to one ethnicity can be explored. These risks will include motivation at school, the risk of dropping out of school, the at-risk classification, which includes gang involvement, and teen pregnancy. The results of studies focused on
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A solution to help at risk girls feel they fit into their community has been attempted through the formation of a club in Texas, where there is a large Mexican population due to the border region. A club for at-risk girls was started called Girls Acquiring Leadership Skills through Service (GALLS). Since "students who lack feelings of inclusion at school are those most at-risk for both youth gang involvement and dropping out of school" this club focuses on making girls feel they belong at school(Sonnenblick 243). Throughout the border region, enacting programs such as GALLS could be effective for lessening Hispanic girls' at-risk classification. Not being at-risk would be a benefit for Hispanic girls whom face so many other potentially problematic situations in their daily life on the border.

Hispanic girls often must face another classification because of their race, that they do not want or are not motivated to do well in school. In the past the common stereotype has been that Mexicans do not have the desire or encouragement to succeed in the academic world of school. Motivation in school is influenced by three main things, first how much a group of friends values doing well in school, second the achievement goals set by parents, and third the independence and responsibility one takes upon herself(Goodenow 61, Menchaca 971). In the border region Hispanic…

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