The Vermont Connection


Through a study on student-initiated retention projects, Maldonado, Buenavista, and Rhoads (2005) focused on the role of student agency and group empowerment and offered insight into how retention theory, policy, and practice may be reconsidered. This critical race counterstory will explore how my undergraduate experience was shaped by a student-initiated retention project in a way that contributed to my self-empowerment. I conclude with a discussion on empowerment’s relationship to retention and share suggestions for how student affairs educators may engage in student-centered and student–initiated programming to foster critical knowledge construction, community and identity formation, and leadership.