Young African American women in a college town:
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The purpose of this study was to collaboratively narrate risk and resilient factors experienced by young African American women living in a Southeastern college town. The goal of this research endeavor was to help develop a storied understanding of how family, community, and school risk and resilient factors impact this population’s higher educational aspiration (or ambition), using narrative inquiry. Moreover, this study aimed to highlight what factors promoted resilience for young black women. Theory-driven thematic analysis was employed to deduce findings from the two theories that undergirded this research endeavor: critical race feminism along with risk and resilience theory. Findings of this study suggested that young black women experience the intersection of racism, sexism, and classism, along with other risk factors in their immediate environment. Despite heightened exposure to risk, a variety of resilient factors were identified and participants shared strategies they employed as individuals that helped to buffer the impact of adversity. As such, these young women presented as highly resilient and all participants expressed a desire to pursue higher education.