Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Velma Menchaca

Second Advisor

Dr. Francisco Guajardo

Third Advisor

Dr. Federico Guerra


The state of Texas has close to 3,000 colonias, with most of them found along the Texas/Mexico border (“Colonias in Texas,” n.d.) and the most citizens of any state living in colonias. I grew up in a colonia in South Texas called Las Milpas, located in Pharr, Texas. Colonia children are often stigmatized and marginalized. This autoethnographic study is a look into my life as an educator and the social and cultural factors that have contributed to my survival and success. As a child, I lost both my mother and father. I was fortunate that my oldest sister, Margarita “Margie” Garcia, raised me.

Through the use of personal narratives as data, I explored events that have had a significant effect on my own and professional lives. These events have shaped my axiology, what I value, and my ontology, who I am as a person- my state of being. The experiences range from professional to personal, but all have influenced my life as an educator as I worked in the service of others, especially children. Relationships, community, and mentorship have equipped me with the skills and experiences to draw upon as I make decisions that impact children and staff.


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