Locating home : the diverse experiences of recent newcomer youth and first generation youth within Ontario's education system
Deckers, Chrissy Michelle
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This study has found that youth who or whose parents had left their home country for fear-based reasons were less involved within their school and wider community than youth who left or whose parents left for reasons concerning their social mobility. Many existing studies focus on the challenges newcomer youth experience within the education system (see Anisef, Brown, Phythian, & Sweet, 2010), however through the use of qualitative methodologies this study expanded on the current literature by further examining why it is some youth are successful in overcoming such challenges, while others are not. This study supported what has been demonstrated in the literature regarding challenges faced by newcomer youth and resources to address such challenges. Despite challenges experienced within the education system, youth planned to complete secondary school and attend a postsecondary institution. However, not all youth anticipated remaining in Canada upon completion of their education, with youth or youth whose parents left their home country for fear-based reasons frequently discussing the possibility of returning to their or their parents' home country. Thus, perhaps these youth were less involved within their school, as their goal was not necessarily to establish or maintain connections within their community as they may have viewed residing in Canada as temporary. This finding has important implications, as there are benefits to involvement in extracurricular activities, which may assist youth in overcoming challenges encountered within the education system. Therefore, it would seem that youth who had or whose parents had left their home country for reasons concerning their social mobility may have be at an advantage within the education system with respect to their involvement in school. Perhaps then this differential involvement may at least partially explain why it is some newcomer youth are able to overcome challenges they experience in the education system, while others are not. Both policy and theoretical implications are discussed.