Van H. Truong

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Dr. Richard Christen

LC Subjects

Education, Bilingual; Education, Higher--Research; Social sciences


This qualitative research study explored participant perceptions of a district-sponsored leadership program for Language Learners, the International Youth Leadership Council, specifically as it applies to student advocacy, leadership, empowerment, and voice. This study utilized Critical Race Theory and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to examine a comparison of participant perceptions of personal and institutional barriers to leadership opportunities for Emergent Bilingual students in American educational systems and their experience participating in the district’s leadership program specifically designed for Emergent Bilingual students. Results showed that participants in the district’s Emergent Bilingual leadership program experienced high cultural alignment, racially, culturally, and linguistically aligned support staff, and increases in leadership, social justice and advocacy skills, and academic success as a result of participation in the district’s International Youth Leadership Council. By contrast, participants shared narratives regarding marginalization, stigmatization, teacher low expectations, and invisibility in American educational systems in regard to access to leadership and academic opportunities at the high school level. This qualitative study investigated student and staff participants of the International Youth Leadership Council’s activities for English Learners and of these activities’ impact on student participants’ leadership skills, sense of empowerment, and student voice. The study explored the results and its implications for education and English Language Learners, specifically regarding participant perception of racially, culturally and linguistically aligned leadership programs.


Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

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