The YWSC as a Site to Build Bonds and Transformative Resistance
[...] I'm really proud to be part of the group, like you support us." Esperanza and the other seven participants all discussed increased confidence, pride, and camaraderie as a result of membership in the YWSC, something supported by scholarship that indicates that mentoring can have a positive impact on the lives of girls, particularly girls of color (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 2001; Majoribanks, 1986; Trice & Knapp, 1992).
Club members demonstrate a greater awareness of the social pressures girls face, a result, most likely, from their participation in YWSC activities designed to raise the girls' consciousness.
Many of the participants indicated that before attending the YWSC, they believed that people of different ethnicities would not understand their experiences and tended to form friendships with people of the same background as a result.
Esperanza explained that, "When people ask, "Oh, what school do you go to?' and you say Hoover, people say, 'Oh, you're ghetto' and sometimes stop talking to you just because of that." Responding to Esperanza's statement, Ayesha pointed out that before she began attending the YWSC she bought into preconceived notions of Hoover as being "ghetto," as highlighted by Esperanza.
As Ayesha said, "We come here because we want to, not because we are forced." As the next section will illustrate, this reclamation of Hoover pride also reflects the girls' positive educational experiences with their teachers, the YWSC, and other Hoover mentoring programs, as well as their own use of Hoover as a stepping stone toward their goals of higher education.
Three of our participants (38%) specifically mention their participation in AVID, while several also indicate other sources of academic support outside of the YWSC. Another large population from which the YWSC draws from is English as a Second Language (ESL) students.
to go to college." Importantly, despite the other academic resources offered at Hoover High, half of the participants cited the YWSC as having a profound influence upon the importante they place on college and professional aspirations.
it was probably hard for her." The mentoring received by members of the YWSC, information made available on sex education, parental influence, and personal experiences combine to motivate students to aspire to attend college, receive a degree, and enter into a professional career.
Ayesha pointed out "that the school [Hoover High] has a bad reputation" but goes on to credit the YWSC as contributing to the development of a mentality of resistance, dismissing others' negative opinions of the constituency of the school and their subsequent academic capabilities.