Cristi Fuentes, a first-generation California graduate, shares an inspiring message of what it means to be a young Latina immigrant with big dreams:
“Graduating means a huge accomplishment, to my parents and to myself. At age 9, I was nothing more than an immigrant with goals, dreams and a huge desire to conquer the world and be someone in life. Coming from immigrant parents, I knew it would be difficult but not impossible. Without my parents, I wouldn’t be where I am today, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and Human Resources.
“My father has truly been my biggest support, from personal & educational advice to financial support. My mother who is an immigrant has also been my rock through it all. She is always there to listen and give the best advice, which I sometimes take for granted. I know that deep down, my mother, as much as other immigrant mothers, suffer with us when we find ourselves struggling with a subject and stressed due to school work overload. That being said, I am beyond thankful for my parents.
“As the second member of the family to graduate, after my older brother, we have both set high educational standards and footsteps to follow for my younger sister. Having my immigrant parents see their 3 children graduate with a college degree would be one of the most rewarding moments of their life. Our parents came to this country with nothing on their hands, and still yet, they have given my siblings and I everything we can possibly ask for. Their hard work, dedication, and commitment to their 3 children has truly payed off.
“The most rewarding moment for me was when my parents saw me walk down the stage with my diploma during commencement. This moment has always been for them and because of them!”
Congratulations Class of 2019, job well done.