National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version


Document Type



UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity:


Copyright @ by the author.


It takes a village to raise a child. This traditional proverb points to the importance of community and cooperation in ensuring children’s needs are met and exposing them to a wide variety of resources that could provide assistance if necessary. This concept of community support is widely heralded, and for many students in the United States, this saying is vital. Their villages are complete with parents, teachers, and administrators that support them and believe in their potential for success. But who forms the support system for children who are on America’s social fringes? For students who seem to be outsiders, such as those who lack a nine digit Social Security number due to lack of authorization to live in the United States, support systems play an especially vital role in academic success. These students face situations filled with fear and stress every day, including fear stemming from potential deportation of themselves or family members, stress due to poverty or being overworked, and heightened sense of being on the fringes of mainstream society. In the context of such circumstances, undocumented students are more equipped to overcome these obstacles when they are placed in the context of effective social support systems such as having high parental involvement in education and gaining mentorships and professional relationships with adults in their communities.