School of Education
Character Education, Low-SES, Mentorship
King, Amanda L., "Success Against All Odds Lessons Learned from Successful, Impoverished Students" (2014). Senior Honors Theses. 468.
The effects of poverty on students’ education have been well documented and a positive correlation can be seen between these effects and their academic success. What is unclear, however, are the exceptions to this correlation. How do students from low-socio-economic status (SES) families succeed despite the seemingly insurmountable odds they face? The literature from a wide variety of longitudinal—and interview-based studies from the past three decades suggests that character traits such as persistence, determination, and curiosity are key to their success. Schools with a majority student body from low-SES homes have found success in meeting and exceeding state standards through fostering an encouraging atmosphere and incorporating these necessary character traits throughout their curriculum. Mentorship in developing these traits is what makes all the difference in both the individual students’ lives and in the school setting. Thus, in order to sustain the development of academically successful students, it is imperative that students not only believe that they can succeed, but that they are given avenues and resources through which they can succeed.