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Abstract

This qualitative, ethnographic study was conducted to discover and describe the motivational influences in the lives of students and graduates of The Leadership Center, located in rural Honduras, as they traveled a journey through high school and on to The Leadership Center in pursuit of education and a vocation. The sample of study participants consisted of thirty young women, thirteen graduates and seventeen students; 55.6% of the population of students and graduates participated at some level in this study. The lack of education emerged as an element of the culture of rural Honduras while the importance of education emerged as a counter theme to the cultural impediments to education. The importance of education consisted of five subthemes: (1) key to improvement, (2) love of learning, (3) growth mindset, (4) increase job opportunities, and (5) learning English. The findings from this study contribute to the fields of education and international development by helping educators and those serving in community development roles in developing nations and under-resourced communities and populations understand the motivational influences that kept these young women on the path of continuing their education. Future research studies might examine a trend identified in this study of family members continuing their education later in life by taking advantage of degree completion programs offered by the Honduran government to enable adults to complete primary school or high school, explore why the majority of young women in rural Honduras are not pursuing education beyond the primary level, and investigate why available alternative educational delivery systems are not being adopted by more rural communities which currently lack secondary schools.

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