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Vol. 16 No. 1 (2021)

“I think we’re all teachers even though we’re students”: Examining Youth Perspectives of Peer Support for College Readiness in an Urban Public High School

  • Joanne Marciano
January 18, 2021


Youth of color enrolled in urban public high schools, particularly those students who seek to be the first in their families to graduate from college, frequently encounter barriers to their college readiness and access. This study engaged an analytic approach built with culturally relevant and sustaining theories of education to examine how 10 youth of color enrolled in 12th grade at a Title 1 public high school in New York City provided and/or received support from peers as they navigated such barriers. The study utilized a youth co-researcher methodology to amplify student voices about an issue directly connected to their lives. Two findings emerged across data analysis: (1) students asserted collective notions of academic achievement and (2) challenged what they perceived as inequitable access to resources and opportunities as they supported their peers’ college readiness and access. Taken together these findings provide new insights into possibilities for building from students’ interactions with peers across contexts of curriculum, teaching, and research in urban schools.