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Student’s graduation photos honouring her immigrant farm-working family go viral

·2-min read
graduation photo (graduation photo)
graduation photo (graduation photo)

A university student in California is causing a stir on social media after she posed for graduation photos with her parents, who are farm workers.

Jennifer Rocha, from Coachella, told TV station 10News San Diego that she wanted to include her parents in the photos as a form of thanks.

“During my winter break, or like summer break, I was working with my parents,” the University of California San Diego (UCSD) student said of working on the farm.

“That’s what made me want to go back and recognise my parents because without them I wouldn’t have this degree”.

She told 10 News San Diego that she began working in the fields when she was in high school, working overnights planting strawberries with her family.

“They were like, ‘hey, if you don’t go to college, you’re gonna be here.’ I was like ‘yeah I don’t think I want this for a forever job,” said Jennifer.

The sociology graduate added that her graduation photos were also in recognition of the hard work required by migrant families in the US.

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“Being like ‘hey, I recognise you’, I see all these migrant workers, it’s tough labour. But hey if I could do it then your kids can too”.

The graduation photos were shared on Twitter at the weekend, with UCSD writing in a tweet: “We’re so proud of Jennifer and our #UCSD2021 grad!”

“Sounds like we should all be thanking her parents and all those like them for the food on our tables,” added a Twitter user, who was among dozens offering congratulations.

“These photos brought tears to my eyes,” another social media user wrote, “I’m a mum. I’m the first in my entire family to graduate college. I felt Jennifer’s mum and dads sacrifice in my soul. They have so much to be proud of. Jennifer is #abaddasswithadiploma”.

Her graduation from USCD was on Saturday.

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