Latina Graduate’s Tribute to Immigrant Parents Goes Viral

May 16, 2019 Updated: May 16, 2019

In the days before a California college student is set to graduate, her Twitter tribute to her immigrant farm worker parents is going viral.

In a photo shared on the social media platform earlier this month, Anna Ocegueda is seen dressed in a graduation robe, flanked by her parents, who are wearing their work garb.

According to the Unversity of California, Merced, Newsroom, Ocegueda is from Orange Cove, a small town where her parents have picked seasonal fruit for more than 25 years.

Her parents are from Mexico, NBC News reported.

Ocegueda, a 22-year old psychology major at University of California, Merced, captioned the post, “Por ustedes y para ustedes.”

This translates as “because of you, and for you.”

NBC News reported that Ocegueda will be the first person in her family to graduate from a four-year university program.

The post has tallied over 17,000 likes and over 4,300 retweets since it was first shared on Twitter on May 6.

Ocegueda told NBC News that the photo is part of a school assignment to address a political issue through art.

“My parents came here for a better future and a better life for their children,” Ocegueda told The Fresno Bee. “The educational opportunities weren’t great. My parents encouraged me to better my education so I wouldn’t have to work in the fields like them.”

Her post has garnered many supportive comments.

“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 I love to see my raza win!” wrote @ayyyoforyayo.

“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,” wrote @lopezart7.

Ocegueda told NBC that for her, the overwhelming response to her post was a surprise.

“I think people relate to it because they know what it’s like to have parents who are working difficult jobs to support us,” she told NBC News.

“They know that going to school will be a way to build a better life not only for themselves but for their parents as well,” she said.

Ocegueda’s graduation is set for Sunday.

According to the UC, Merced, Newsroom, she plans to relocate to the Bay Area for work after graduating.

‘Be Grateful for Each Day You Don’t Have Pain’

Ocegueda’s post recalls a story of a 27-year-old woman who died from a rare form of cancer, leaving a viral letter to the rest of the world.

Holly Butcher, of Australia, said she was inspired to write a letter to help others “whinge less, and help people more.” Twenty-four hours after writing the letter, she died surrounded by her family members, reported the Daily Examiner, which reported that she died of Ewing’s sarcoma.

“It’s a strange thing to realize and accept your mortality at 26 years young,” she wrote, referring to being diagnosed with cancer a year prior. “I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.”

Her letter was posted on her Facebook page by her brother and partner.

“It is with great sadness that we announce Holly’s passing in the early hours of this morning,” her family wrote on Facebook. “After enduring so much, it was finally time for her to say goodbye to us all. The end was short and peaceful; she looked serene when we kissed her forehead and said our final farewells. As you would expect, Holly prepared a short message for you all.”

As she was facing her own death, Butcher said that material possessions and money seemed ridiculous.

“It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives,” she wrote in the letter.

“That’s the thing about life; it is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right,” she wrote.

“Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively affect other people’s days.

“Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; it is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that—breathe.

“You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.

“Let all that [expletive] go. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole.”

“Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body. Work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realize just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling [expletive] about yourself. Friend or not. Be ruthless for your own well-being.

“Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is [expletive] but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.”

[…]

“Whinge less, people! And help each other more.

“Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; more than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.”

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM
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