For more than 25 years, Anna Ocegueda's parents, who are immigrants from Mexico, have worked picking seasonal fruits in Orange Grove, Calif. This weekend, the senior at the University of California, Merced, will become the first person in her family to graduate from a four-year university.
Ocegueda, 22, shared a photo on Twitter, standing in between her parents with a caption written in Spanish that reads, "Por Ustedes y Para Ustedes," translating to "because of you and for you." Now, the image, originally taken as part of an assignment for a global arts studies class, according to NBC News, has gone viral.
The assignment was to portray a political issue through art, and the contrast of Ocegueda's graduation garb next to her parents' typical work attire has spoken to many on social media.
"I think it touched home for a lot of people." Ocegueda, one of five siblings, told The University of California, Merced's Newsroom. "They felt moved by it."
The student told NBC that knowing her parents were "working in the hot sun kept me going and doing it for them." She will accept her bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish this weekend. After graduation, she plans to head to the Bay Area to work with children.
Ocegueda has received many messages of congratulations.
"So proud of you and your family, and your shining example of the American dream in action. Wishing you and your family many blessings, success and good health! Congratulations!" a great-granddaughter of Mexican immigrants wrote.
"I just want to tell you I'm very proud of you I don't know you but this is the American dream [for] a lot of our parents," one person tweeted.
To others who have messaged her, stating they faced similar obstacles, she says, "You can make it. I'm living proof of that."
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