Access to quality education, from primary, secondary, and all the way to tertiary levels, has long been considered to be an effective strategy for the improvement and promotion of indigenous youth’s overall well-being. This phenomenological case study explores the lived experiences of four indigenous Aeta youth members who aspire to finish their college education in the Philippines. Using the photo elicitation technique of Photovoice, data were collected through focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews for over a period of two years since June of 2018. Six themes emerged in the interviews: “display of resilience”, “living in two worlds”, “education is the key”, “family first”, “pride for the indigenous community”, “inclusive and supportive environment”. The study recommends that tertiary schools adopt a whole school approach to promote positive school learning environment and holistic well-being for its indigenous student population. Further, future studies need to focus on examining the impact of gender, family and the community dynamics in the academic success of the indigenous student.
Keywords: indigenous youth, Photovoice, tertiary education, lived experiences, positive school learning environment