School Structure And Family Influences

1787 Words Sep 29th, 2014 8 Pages
Education never really seemed to be priority in my hometown. Fresno, the 5th largest city in California, is listed as the 8th least literate city in the US. I grew up in a part of town where less than 75% of the residents age 25 and over received a high school diploma; less than 13% earned a Bachelor’s degree; and only 3% have a graduate or professional degree. It’s surprising that I even made it to graduate school after reading statistics like these. My objective is to reflect on my school experience, and explore how culture, school structure and family influences contributed to my successful completion of grades K-16, even when the odds were not in my favor.
I came from a working class family of six whose ethnicity was mixed - my father, White and my mother, Hispanic. My siblings and I all went to Slater Elementary School from Kindergarten to 6th grade. The school was less than a mile from my home, and the community was made up mostly of working and lower middle class families. The ethnic distribution of my neighborhood was 53.8% Hispanic, 28.2% White, 9.3% Black, 5.5% Asian, and 2% mixed race. Coming from a mixed race family had its own challenges. In addition to being a cultural outlier in the community, I was always confused about who I was ethnically, and was forced to choose which one identified with more (White or Hispanic) on standardized tests, or when participating with play groups.
My parents were both clerks at the local Post Office. My father was a Vietnam War…
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