Date

12-2020

Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Department

Health and Human Services

Major

Social Work

Abstract

Relatively few studies have examined the process of social/cultural detachment in Hispanic/Latinx youth in the United States. The present project adopted an ecological approach to this issue, focusing on mezzo- and macro-level support system development, apart from micro-level character and self-esteem development. Educational disparities, acculturation stress, and familial oppression lead to gaps between parents, adolescents, schools, and the community. Following the Youth Alliance’s philosophy that youth need support from multiple sources in order to heal, the Guiding and Understanding Individuals in Achieving Success (GUIAS) program’s support group sessions bridge these gaps. By offering culture- and gender-sensitive lessons, hands-on activities, and education about important rites of passage, youth have the opportunity to adopt a newfound appreciation for their culture. Barriers faced by these families to close achievement gaps include having a lower socioeconomic status, as well as the current global pandemic which has made it even more difficult to make meaningful connections. Consequently, the 12-week support program has transitioned to a virtual Zoom setting. Week 6’s session, My Roots and Resilience, will address social and cultural detachment by teaching youth how their culture and roots make them resilient. The activity of repotting a succulent plant while connecting the nature of the plant to their personal abilities will allow the students to be engaged and retain the important concepts. By creating a welcoming virtual environment for the expression of social and cultural similarities and differences, the lesson strengthens student perceptions of support and provides education about family protective factors.

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