College senior’s tribute to her immigrant farm worker parents goes viral after she poses with them in her graduation gown in the fields where they have picked fruit for 25 years
- Anna Ocegueda, 22, will receive her bachelor’s degree from Merced on Sunday
- Her parents, migrant workers from Mexico, have been picking seasonal fruits
- After graduating, she plans to move to the San Francisco Bay Area to work
A Latina college soon-to-be graduate, whose parents are immigrant farm workers from Mexico, paid tribute to them, saying they are responsible for her success.
Anna Ocegueda, 22, will become the first person in her family to graduate from a four-year university on Sunday.
She recently posted a photo on Twitter paying tribute to her parents, whose hard work allowed her to graduate from the University of California, Merced.
Anna Ocegueda, pictured with her parents, said their hard work helped her succeed
The picture caption, in Spanish, reads ‘Por Ustedes y Para Ustedes’, which means ‘Because of you and for you’.
Ms Ocegueda and her four siblings are the children of Mexican migrant workers, who have been picking seasonal fruits in Orange Cove, California for more than 25 years.
On Sunday, she will receive her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish from the University of California, Merced
The photo she posted features the young student, with her graduation cap and stole, standing between her parents who wear their typical work clothes.
The post came as Ms Ocegueda and her classmates had to portray a political issue through art for a global arts studies class at university.
Her sister took the photo in the orange groves where their parents work, creating a strong contrast.
‘I did this to inspire people and let them know that regardless of your hardships growing up, you can still do it,’ she said.
The young student said the juxtaposition shows how her parents’ hard work had led her to success.
‘Knowing they’re out there working in the hot sun kept me going and doing it for them,’ Ms Ocegueda told NBC News.
She received a big amount of support and her tweet now has over 17,000 likes and 4,400 retweets.
‘I think it touched home for a lot of people.’ Ocegueda said. ‘They felt moved by it.’
One user wrote: ‘Woow, this is amazing!! Congrats. I remember you and your dad from when I first started working in the fields picking oranges. He’s such a great man and influence. Tell him I said hi. I hope you guys are doing great.’
Another person commented: ‘This is so touching. I am grateful for all parents who sacrifice so much to ensure a better life for their children. My 80 yo Mom worked hard in the fields to allow things to happen for me.’
This Sunday, Ms Ocegueda will receive her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish from Merced.
Once graduated, she plans to move to the San Francisco Bay Area to work with children.