Publication Date



Leadership Studies

Journal Title

Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education


Post-print: the version of the article having undergone peer review but prior to being published



This reflective paper explores the intersectionality of social identity, trauma, and education through the lens of a first-generation college student (FGCS) who is a neurodivergent Army veteran. I share my personal journey and experiences, highlighting marginalized communities’ challenges in the education system. I delve into the impact of cultural invasion, the transmission of trauma across generations, and the importance of critical consciousness in addressing educational inequality. I also discuss the role of spatial thinking and language in shaping learning experiences. I emphasize the need for cultural awareness, inclusivity, and equity in educational spaces and highlight the transformative power of embracing one’s differences. Overall, I explain the complex dynamics of social identity, trauma, and education and call for a deeper understanding and critical examination of these issues.

Original Publication Citation

De La Garza, R. (2024). Intersectionality of social identity, trauma, and education: a first-generation college student’s reflective journey. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 1–14.

Available for download on Thursday, October 23, 2025