Home / U.S. / The photo of the UC Merced student who posted on Twitter went viral.

The photo of the UC Merced student who posted on Twitter went viral.

UC Merced Student Honors Migrant Parents in Viral Photo

A UC Merced student wanted to honor her parents as she prepares to graduate. The image went viral on Twitter.

A UC Merced student wanted to honor her parents as she prepares to graduate. The image went viral on Twitter.

On Sunday, the student of UC Merced, Anna Ocegueda, will become the first person in her family to graduate from a four-year university.

Ocegueda, 22, wanted to pay tribute to her parents and recognize her roots with a photo she recently posted on Twitter. She did not expect the tweet to go viral.

The photo of Ocegueda wearing her graduation cap and her robe while standing in the fields where her parents work has collected more than 16,000 "likes" and about 4,000 retweets. The legend that ran with the translated photo of Spanish says: "For you and for you".

"I was hoping to get some" likes "from my friends and from the people I know in the Central Valley," said Ocegueda. "I did not expect to have reactions from other people, I woke up the next morning and there were many notifications on my phone, I had to silence my Twitter notifications because they were exploiting my phone."

Ocegueda's parents came to the United States from Mexico more than 20 years ago as undocumented farm workers. His parents picked oranges in the winter and spent their summers picking grapes and blueberries. They raised five children.

"My parents came here for a better future and a better life for their children," said Ocegueda. "The educational opportunities were not great, my parents encouraged me to improve my education so I would not have to work in fields like them."

The story of Ocegueda resonated with so many people.

Even the chancellor of UC Merced, Dorothy Leland, tweeted on Twitter: "A powerful testimony of what is possible with perseverance, hard work and determination. Congratulations to you and your family. See you on stage, Anna!

Ocegueda received financial assistance to help offset some of the costs of paying through UC Merced. She took out student loans to cover the rest.

"My parents barely earn enough to support themselves, but I always say that I could not do this without their help," he said. "Without their encouragement, I would not be where I am, although they could not help financially, they helped in other ways, there were days when I felt like giving up, but they reminded me that I am doing this to improve my future."

She was taken by surprise by all the comments, especially by people she had never met.

"Such a powerful image", published a commentator.

"I love this, it hit me at home," said another post.

"Some of the comments made me cry," said Ocegueda. "There were people who said that the image came home because their parents are also undocumented and work in the field. I had strangers who told me they were very proud of me. "

Ocegueda will receive her bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in Spanish.

He wants to work with children who have autism or other psychological disorders. She says she also stayed in college for her three older brothers, who were born in Mexico, and did not have the same opportunities as her.

"I am very proud of her." Anna's photo, and her story of perseverance in the face of adversity, is a powerful testament to the social mobility that UC Merced provides to its student population, "said Leland." Anna incorporates shared characteristics for the many extraordinary students who make UC Merced such a special campus, and their photo also serves as inspiration for future students. "

One of the special moments that emerged from his viral tweet was that Ocegueda was able to read some of the comments that people left to their parents.

"I would like to read the updates and all the comments," he said. "For them, it felt good to be recognized. I tweeted that photo more for them than for me. My father was very excited about the way people were so proud of me. "

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