Graduation Year


Document Type

Master's Thesis


Master of Science



Program Director

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

First Reader

Katherine Lewis, PhD

Second Reader

Rebecca Birch, EdD


It is important for students to feel like they belong and that the offering of afterschool programs welcomes them. Afterschool programs develop confidence, engagement, and belonging for students (Fuller et al., 2013). Unfortunately, afterschool sports and extracurricular participation is diminishing and by even greater numbers for students from minority groups (Borden et al., 2006). The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine how educators and school communities might increase and promote participation in extracurricular activities, specifically for Latinx students, by hearing from underrepresented Latinx students about their experiences in afterschool programs. There is limited research regarding how mentors and peers with different backgrounds than Latinx students might affect students’ participation in extracurricular activities. Findings from this project show that Latinx students have strong intrinsic motivation and confidence to participate in an afterschool program; however many of their classmates need more support to participate. Findings indicate that other Latinx students at the school are discouraged from joining afterschool programs when they see little representation of themselves within the program. Finally, students participating in an afterschool program at the end of the season did not feel like they had less belonging within the group despite having a different ethnicity as the majority group. Creating programs to promote extracurricular participation at the lower grade levels can lead to greater confidence and passion among young students who may then join programs at the middle school level.

IRB Number