Through a Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework, this article explores the experiences of students who are most typically overlooked within the college access discourse—those individuals who are considered “non-high performing” and/or “non-college bound.” Employing data from a longitudinal qualitative study, counter-narratives are used to highlight how Raheem and Brianna, two non-high performing African American students, experience the high school-to-college transition process. Over the course of three years, they reveal a combination of personal challenges, institutional shortcomings, and other trials that influence how they finally come to navigate their experiences within school, as well as their decisions about and actions towards achieving their postsecondary goals. Their narratives, while unique in their own right, highlight many aspects and obstacles that are all too common amongst this population of students; however, they also highlight an often more forgotten story—that is, the complexities of how these students attempt to find ways in which to handle their circumstances and proceed towards their future.
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