Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jeanne L. Surface


As a qualitative, multiple case study this research reports on the factors that young adults, in their early to mid-twenties, reflect upon as contributing factors they encountered during their high school and late adolescent years that lead them to or away from success. Individual stories and experiences defined factors that lead to success while aided to gain an understanding of individual perceptions of attaining success. The researcher used emerging themes from each story to find the commonalities that lead to long-term success of at-risk youth and then made recommendations to the field of education by redrawing the notion of supporting at-risk students by hearing from them rather than taking the research and findings of adults to make future recommendations for education regarding at-risk adolescents. This research finds the most common themes that lead towards long-term success for at-risk youth to be family involvement, resilience, and mentoring.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2018 Emily DuPree Christensen.

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