Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-13-2022


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



School of Education

Committee Chair

Darius Prier

Committee Member

Liliana Castrellon

Committee Member

Anthony Kane


homelessness, unaccompanied homeless youth, UHY, McKinney-Vento Act, MVA, social and emotional learning, SEL, educational leaders


Housing programs available to youth experiencing homelessness offer varying types of supports and initiatives. However, few programs are created by and with the perspectives of these youth. This qualitative study examines the experiences of unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) while living in a housing program, identifies specific needs of UHY, and aims to learn of the political role the community and educational institutions play in empowering youth experiencing homelessness.

Implications highlight how critical pedagogy can be used by educational leaders to empower student voice and aims to shift student learning from a “banking” model to democratic participation. This research will advance implications for educational leaders and policymakers across PK-16, to work towards equitable and just policies and practices for students/youths experiencing homelessness.

Finally, implications from this study will make distinct connections between the lived experiences of youth experiencing homelessness to inform community resources. These resources include housing models and educational institutions. These institutions argue that community organizations and schools can work together to best meet the needs of youth.