Nelida Medina


Latino Education, A Texas Size Problem: Empowering Parents Through Policy Education


Latinos are the largest minority demographic in the state of Texas. However, Latino students have a dropout rate twice as high than that of their White peers. This issue has contributed to poverty in the Latino community as well as a shortage of competent bilingual professionals. Research has shown that Latino parents who engage in their students education have a positive effect on their educational outcomes. This presentation will seek to review scholarly literature on Latino education and parental engagement as well as present an innovative intervention to address the issue guided by Latino Critical Race Theory (LatCrit). Product One is a systematic literature review that seeks to answer the question, “does Latino parents’ knowledge of educational policy have an effect on graduation outcomes?”. Product Two introduces LatCrit as a theoretical framework for an innovative idea that educates Latino parents on local school policy. Product Three presents a social worker-led parent support group that teaches parents different local educational policies to empower them to engage their students school systems. Latino parents face many barriers within the school system. Teaching them about local educational policy will give them the tools they need to push against oppressive systems that do not benefit their children. The time is now to act for the future Latino students in Texas.


Nelida Medina is a first-generation, Mexican American, Licensed Clinical Social Worker who resides in Tyler, TX. Mrs. Medina holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work from Stephen F. Austin State University and is a Doctoral Candidate for Social Work at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. She is the owner and lead therapist of Purple Crayon Bilingual Counseling Services. A unique and trailblazing practice that serves Medicaid and low-income children and adolescents in Spanish. She acknowledges the complexities and uniqueness of Latinos experiences in the United States and their home countries. Mrs. Medina specializes in working with diagnosis that includes trauma, ADHD, depression, and anxiety. She works closely with community members to advocate for systemic changes for Latinos in mental health and the education system.

Mrs. Medina is passionate about educating parents on different educational policies such as 504 plans and special education policies as part of her work. Mrs. Medina’s research interest includes Latino studies, Latino education, and child and youth mental health. Her doctoral capstone research seeks to address the problem of high dropout rates of Latino students in the state of Texas. She proposes to educate Latino parents in Spanish on local school policy to empower them to advocate for their students. Mrs. Medina has presented at different conferences and organizations across Texas on the topics of Latino mental health and Latino education. Mrs. Medina is routinely asked to participate in local media coverage on the topics of children, adolescents, and Latino mental health.