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."
POR USTEDES Y PARA USTEDES 🎓🇲🇽 #HijaDeInmigrantes #2MoreWeeks https://t.co/gTcdwOysTX— Crybaby (@Crybaby)1557179544.0
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.
@fuhckenanna This belongs in Time magazine, it's so powerful!— Leeza (@Leeza)1557269883.0
@fuhckenanna I love this so much Omg congrats girl😭😭💛— dariana natali (@dariana natali)1557203535.0
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."
@fuhckenanna Totally feel the joy from both sides. I was the first college graduate from my family that immigrated… https://t.co/0lFB0geRwl— Raul O. Roldan (@Raul O. Roldan)1557953332.0
@fuhckenanna Dude I don’t even know you and im proud of you lol you just made all their struggles worth it— Eduardo Contreras (@Eduardo Contreras)1557196406.0
Her family photo went viral with over 18k likes, and many of the comments called her story the real example of the American dream.
@fuhckenanna I love this so much, it hit home for me 😭💛— Daisy Serrano (@Daisy Serrano)1557213838.0
@fuhckenanna Like you, my husband was the 1st n his family to get a college degree, then went on to obtain a Master… https://t.co/3r7Loh8TdO— Jane Stewart (@Jane Stewart)1557954706.0
@fuhckenanna I just want to tell you I’m very proud of you I don’t know you but this is the American dream fpr a lo… https://t.co/OEakLIs0Iu— Yaya (@Yaya)1557252620.0
@fuhckenanna As a photographer, these are the pics I love taking, they tell a story without any words needing to be… https://t.co/Mh3g5luGCL— Dan 📷🐻🌐 (@Dan 📷🐻🌐)1557955021.0
@fuhckenanna Great granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. So proud of you and your family, and your shining example o… https://t.co/xcXThcyzOb— Ann Abuse (@Ann Abuse)1557953489.0
@fuhckenanna Congratulations Anna! Becoming the person from your family to graduate from a four-year university is… https://t.co/g1Eu9fJCad— Eva Smith 👩🏾💻 (@Eva Smith 👩🏾💻)1557952704.0
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.