Pathways to success: Developing resiliency in urban students
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Adolescence is a time of exploration, individualization, physical and emotional changes which create unique opportunities and challenges during this crucial stage of life. Urban minority adolescents have exacerbated risks resulting from poverty, violence, single parent families, language issues, and under-educated parents. Data on urban youth solidify these challenges as immense which impact the lives of countless individuals each day. The societal need to continue to improve its efforts in supporting these youth is of great priority and the risk of doing nothing is imminently disastrous. The research question of this study is: What adolescent experiences, behaviors, characteristics and external support do individuals of low socio-economic status urban communities attribute to their success in adult life? The methodology of this study utilized a multi-step quasi-life history approach to data collection. This study uses a hybrid of "grounded theory" and "life histories". The quasi-life history data collection was comprised of a one stage interview process of ten adult participants who are self-determined as successful. The findings of this study indicate that urban youth must develop resiliency to be successful as adults and reach their dreams for their adulthood lives. This was evident in current literature and the data analysis process of this study in that individuals develop their internal attributes through experiences, guidance and external support. This provides the youth with an opportunity to engage the obstacles of life which exist within them, in their homes and the community. This time of life, which is full of social intricacies, can be one of the cornerstones to success in adulthood.