This qualitative study explores the counterstories of educational engagement experiences for five parents who have a high school student in a college access program that is designed for students with a financial need and/or no family history of college. This study uses the ecologies of parental engagement (EPE) framework to explore family engagement in traditional academic settings but also nonacademic settings. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and one focus group. Their counterstories challenge the notion that parents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and/or no to little family history of college are disinterested or disengaged in their student’s education. The data reveal that the family members are highly engaged in their student’s educational experiences in academic settings, nonacademic settings (home, community organizations, and neighborhoods), and in the college access program. Furthermore, the findings reveal that the college access program serves as an alternative space for family engagement.

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