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“To Trust in My Root and to Take That to Go Forward”: Supporting College Access for Immigrant Youth in the Global City


Reva Jaffe-Walter is a Postdoctoral fellow with the Public Science Project at CUNY Graduate Center, New York.

Stacey J. Lee is Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Policy Studies at University of Wisconsin.


Increasing numbers of immigrant youth are coming of age within global cities that are characterized by growing inequalities and few opportunities for social mobility. These youth face numerous educational obstacles that complicate college and labor market access. This article draws from an ethnographic study of public high schools serving low-income, recently arrived immigrant students and explores how the schools provide students with the academic skills and social capital to support college going. It considers how the schools attempt to create new understandings and expectations of the educational possibilities available to low income immigrant students, thus creating a social imaginary that resists the racialized hierarchies of the global city. [immigrant students, English-language learners, college access, social capital, globalization]