The purpose of this constructivist qualitative study is to describe the early literacy experiences of independent university students at a mid-size public institution in the Rocky Mountain region of the Western United States. Data are collected through single, face-to-face, semistructured one hour interviews with five volunteer participants. The narrative study finds that the parallel experiences in early life and early literacy of the participants relate to their pursuit of higher education and also challenges stereotypes which educators and caregivers may hold about poor and seemingly dysfunctional families. This research informs the best practices of early childhood educators, higher education faculty, caregivers, and service providers.

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