Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Terry Huffman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dane Joseph, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gary Sehorn, Ed.D.


This qualitative study explores the experiences of a little understood marginalized segment of the American population. Using a narrative ethnographic approach, I examined the perceptions and experiences of a small sample of youth ages 18-24 in rural Oregon who experienced high school while homeless. I conducted personal interviews to explore the perceived needs of homeless youth as identified by the participants and document what they consider as the predominant misconceptions surrounding their circumstances. The data analysis documented four prevailing themes common to the participants’ experience with homelessness while high school students: 1) the challenge presented by being a homeless high school student requires enormous resiliency; 2) the necessity to confront their own and others’ ambivalence about homelessness; 3) the need for practical assistance; and 4) the imperative desire for normalcy. The findings of this study shed light on how to assist rural homeless high school students as well as provides a voice to those who frequently go unheard.

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