What was initially a class assignment ended up becoming a viral moment. Recently, Anna Ocegueda tweeted a picture of herself and her parents that was taken for her global arts studies class. Tasked with using art to illustrate a political issue, the 22-year-old University of California, Merced student, who is the first in her family to graduate from a four-year university, chose to pose in her cap and gown alongside her farmworker parents. She simply tweeted, “Por ustedes y para ustedes.” Many ended up sharing encouraging words and similar experiences with Anna.
“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.”
For more than 25 years, her parents have picked fruits in Orange Grove. She hoped her photo would show how her parents helped her become who she is today. Some have felt so inspired by the photo that they’ve even reached out to ask her for advice.
“I message them and say that sometimes our parents can’t give us everything, but that’s not a reason to give up,” she said. “There are financial aid and scholarships that will help you pay for school — their financial situation shouldn’t hold them back.”
Ocegueda will graduate this Sunday. She majored in psychology and minored in Spanish.