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Graduating from college is always cause for celebration, but for Anna Ocegueda, the accomplishment is especially poignant.

The 22-year-old is the first in her family to graduate from a four-year university.


She and her four siblings have parents who were migrant farm workers from Mexico and have been picking seasonal fruits in Orange Cove for over 25 years.

The graduate of the University of California Merced posted a photo paying tribute to her parents in a now-viral tweet.

In Spanish, Ocegueda wrote:

"Por Ustedes y Para Ustedes"

which translates to:

"because of you, and for you"

She added the powerful hashtag #HijaDeinmigrantes, meaning, the "daughter of immigrants."

The photo was a part of Ocegueda's global arts studies class in which she and her classmates were tasked with depicting a political issue through art.

She had her parents pose in their work attire while she posed in her cap and gown. The juxtaposition was meant to illustrate her parents' hard work leading to their daughter's success.

Oceguada's friends were moved by her powerful post. It didn't take long for others to share their family's pride and history.


The college grad shared with NBC in a phone interview about her inspirational motivation to study hard.

"Knowing they're out there working in the hot sun kept me going and doing it for them."


Her family photo went viral with over 18k likes, and many of the comments called her story the real example of the American dream.






When asked about the impact her post had not only on her local community, but to the rest of the country, she said:

"I think people relate to it because they know what it's like to have parents who are working difficult jobs to support us. 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 used her online fame to help others who sought her advice.

"I message them and say that sometimes our parents can't give us everything, but that's not a reason to give up. There are financial aid and scholarships that will help you pay for school—their financial situation shouldn't hold them back."

Ocegueda received her bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish at this weekend's graduation ceremonies.

She plans to move to San Francisco to work with children and families.

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