While graduation season is typically and emotional and exciting part because of the speeches and celebrations, our favorite part is undoubtedly the graduation cap decorations. On the surface of the caps are notes that either serve as encouragement for the grads, words of wisdom to the world, or a moving homage to those that made the students’ success possible. It’s easily one of the most tear-jerking parts of commencement ceremonies.

For the last few years, Latina Rebels – the collective working to empower the Latino community – has encouraged grads to send in their powerful messages. This year, was no different. Under the #LatinxGradCaps hashtag, Latina Rebels asked students to share snaps of their caps. Below, check out some we found through the hashtag and that were sent to us.

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Photo courtesy of José Gabino Alba

“I am an LGBTQIA member, Xicano, Jalisco Born. I struggled to finish my degree. There were so many bumpy roads, and 10 years later here I am graduating with honors Magma Cum Laude with a degree BS in Marketing and going to graduate school in NYU this fall for social activism through film.” -José Gabino Alba

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Keeping my grad cap hella minimal #SFSU2018 #latinxgradcaps

A post shared by Lina Navarra (@thefemaledaze) on

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Photo courtesy of Jackie Pedota

“[I’m] on the path to hopefully become a professor one day. My abuelo was a professor at la Universidad de la Habana before leaving everything behind to seek asylum in the US. I hope to be a scholar who is as empathetic as he was. Te quiero papá.” -Jackie Pedota

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3:13pm | I just received some previews from the photoshoot I did for graduation and this picture floored me. When I started thinking about what these past three years have been, I knew that I had to give a shoutout to my home. I started thinking of what I could put in the cap to symbolize the struggle, the tears, the lack of belonging, the suffering but also the victory, the overcoming, the friends, the love, and this song was the perfect thing. Hijos del Cañaveral by Residente. A song that speaks about being sons and daughters of the sugar cane field. Sons and daughters of colonization, slavery, abuse, disasters and, yet, here we are, con la pava arriba, still strong, still brave, still refusing to be silent, to be forgotten. So this is for my family and for my home. For the pride I feel in ending this just as I began: una jibarita del archipiélago de Borínquen. No me pudieron borrar la mancha de plátano. ✊ #latinxgradcaps : @amyscroggin

A post shared by Yolanda Michelle (@ymsctv) on

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Photo courtesy of Elisa Pantaleon

“I chose to honor my parents with my grad cap because it was something I couldn’t [have] done without them. They have provided me with the support and love I needed. They have helped me financially as well, when I was unable to receive financial aid, it was my parents’ savings that paid for it. It wasn’t cheap. Knowing they came here with nothing, I wanted to make sure they knew that their sacrifices were worth it. My college education, my degree, shows them just that. Being a Chicanx major, I knew I had to represent my parents, especially not being Mexican. I chose to include their country flags because they are proud of where they come from and so am I. We are a proud Central-American family!” -Elisa Pantaleon

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