Obtaining a doctorate was something I never dreamed of growing up. Neither was attending college for that matter. As many other Latinos, my goals were limited by my perceptions and social environment so education was not high on my list – work was. It wasn’t shared directly, but the consensus from those that knew was – I wasn’t “college material.”
It took many years to overcome that perception, and ironically, it’s a perception that impacted me in other areas during my career . It wasn’t until I obtained my doctorate a couple of years ago that I was SHOCKED to discover the microscopic number of Latinos who have earned a Ph.D or Doctorate. I realize I was not alone in carrying these perceptions, that I wasn’t good enough, and it’s the same perceptions many young Latinos still carry today.
As I review the graph below (via NewsTaco and Villescas Research), it does make me realize the significance of being part of a small number of Latinos with this title. And while I’m proud of my educational accomplishment, it’s also a bitter-sweet reminder of the uphill road we as a community still have to climb.
Let’s change those perceptions for all Latinos – anything is possible.