Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Peter Williams

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Kamryn Downs

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Ana Gomez de Torres


Since the announcement of its discontinuation by President Trump in 2017, much attention has been drawn to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and its participants (Barros, 2017). Despite a history of uncertainty and instability that results in stress and apprehension experienced by DACA participants, some continue to pursue education opportunities and careers. However, there remains a knowledge gap in regard to the motivations and identity development process of those that pursue leadership roles within their community or workplace (Barros 2017). The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the leader identity development experience of DACA participants. This was accomplished primarily by soliciting views and experiences of six DACA leaders within the community through the frameworks of undocumented critical theory. The study focused on DACA participants that migrated from Mexico. Given that El Paso County is a border city to Mexico, the location of the study was in El Paso, Texas. Qualitative research was conducted focusing on interviews with DACA participants in leadership positions. The method used was testimonios to provide a platform for the participants to share their stories through their voices. The two key factors focused on were self-identification and leadership identity formation. Through this proposed research, the latter was addressed by providing an in-depth investigation into the obstacles DACA participants experience and their leadership identity formation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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