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Squeezed by Family and Financial Pressures, Young Latinas Struggle to Stay in School

Nov. 20, 2017

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of Hispanic females in the U.S. who drop out of high school has decreased from 24 percent in 2000 to 8.4 percent in 2015. However, the high school dropout rate among female Hispanics is higher than that of their white, black and male peers in part due to cultural expectations that Latinas will help their parents with child care and housekeeping, often at the expense of their education.

In conjunction with Aurora Public schools, Communities In Schools (CIS) is working to acknowledge these pressures by helping many of the young Latina students who are struggling to juggle schoolwork, child care and household and work responsibilities. Held in modular classrooms on the high schools campus, Aurora's CIS allows students to structure their own schedule through independent study with teachers available into the evenings.

"Last year I started falling behind and I started ditching - I hated it. In this program if you're failing they won't make you feel bad about it - they will help you out. My parents still don't believe I'm going to graduate. But I am." 

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