A journey into the lived experiences of Latina graduate students: a feminist perspective
The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore the lived experiences of Latinas in a master's educational leadership program located in South Texas within the context of a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution. In particular, this study helps to understand the lived experiences of enrolled Latina students at the master's level. Narrative case and study and grounded feminist and cultural study theory were used to investigate five Latina participants who took part in in-depth interviews to provide a full picture and description of their day to day happenings in their graduate programs and beyond. This study also described in-depth through dialogue and historical narratives the "transformation" these women made through their testimonias with me as witness. These in-depth interviews covered a range of topics including their academic, personal, and professional interactions to gain a full understanding of balancing multiple demands, as well as exploring the support networks to persist towards degree obtainment and future goals and plans. The following themes emerged from their narratives and were credited for their success: family support, faculty and advisor support, personal sacrifices, professional development, and resistance to sexist and racist incidences. In addition, the unique themes of "quiet guilt" and health sacrifices will be explored. Lastly, these five women are currently champions for marginalized students and embody the character of advocates for social justice.