• by María Robledo Montecel, Ph.D. • IDRA Newsletter • January 2002 • Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D.

I always knew I would go to college. I did not know how. I did not know where. But I did know why. College was a way of giving back – giving back what I was so generously given…

So, I got help and I helped others. Learning and schooling are worth the effort, and being educated is more than being schooled. Over the years, I have met people – too many people – who believe that educational achievement among Latinos is merely an individual feat of those few who manage to divest themselves of the baggage that is their family, their culture, and their language. These people are wrong. The broad and strong shoulders of our families, of our communities, of our culture, and of our language are helping many of us to meet the challenge of educational institutions that too often remain closed to Latino students.

By María Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., IDRA executive director. Excerpted from The Latino Student’s Guide to College Success, edited by Leonard A. Valverde (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002).

Comments and questions may be directed to her via e-mail at feedback@idra.org.

[©2002, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the January 2002 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]