For Latinas, the pursuit of higher education has often coincided with a desire to give reason to our parents’ strifes. There’s no doubting the fact that today’s Latina graduates are stepping out into a world of guaranteed uncertainty and hardship. Just as equally indisputable is the fact that these women, ones who’ve overcome so much in their lives already have many successes to look forward to as well. Their drive, ability, and strength coupled with the encouragement given to them by their parents clearly have the ability to get them there.
As the last leg of 2018 graduates cross the stage this summer and as many of us celebrate Fathers Day over the weekend, FIERCE is looking at the Latinas whose graduation stories started with the efforts of their fathers.
Here’s a look at 9 Latinas whose social media posts featuring dads went viral on their graduation days.
This post about an hija who refused to let borders block her father from seeing her graduate will tear you up.
Heartbreaking video shows Texas student Leslie Silva crossing the border into Mexico so her dad, who was deported, could see her graduation cap and gown.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 8, 2018
In a post to her Twitter account that quickly went viral, Texas student Leslie Silva showed footage of her reuniting with her father at the border after he had been deported. Silva wanted her father to be the first to see her donning her cap and gown before she crossed the graduation stage and the video had us all kinds of sloppy eyed.
This chica’s father wouldn’t let her give up even when the going got impossibly tough.
This time last week, I was preparing to take my last exam of my undergraduate career. It still seems surreal. There were times when I’d cry just because I felt like giving up, sometimes I would doubt myself so much. But God is so good. Because I finally did it. For those of you who are doubting yourself, don’t. Because anything is possible and you are capable. I couldn’t have done it without my family. They should’ve been the ones to walk the stage. Especially my parents. Estoy muy agradecida de todo el apoyo que me dan y tantos sacrificios que han hecho para que yo pudiera seguir mis sueños. Esto es para ustedes papi y mami! Gracias por todo! 💖 #1stgenerationgraduate #sisepudo #utdgrad
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There’s no doubting the fact that for many immigrants, ultimately getting a chance to cross the stage for graduation can seem like a mere dream. For this Latina juggling multiple challenges, giving up was never truly a viable option because her father was there to support her.
When her scholarship was taken away because of her status, this graduate’s father worked multiple jobs to get her across the stage.
When my school discovered I was undocumented, my scholarship & in-state tuition were taken away. I told my papi that I was going to drop out & work instead. My papi told me he’d cut his arm off before I dropped out. We made it work. Today I graduated & he’s why. #undocugrad pic.twitter.com/RwDuOe5xaF
— camila 🦋 (@camilaronipizza) May 5, 2018
After administrative officials at Camila Ozores Silva’s university found out she was undocumented and took away her scholarship Silva decided she would put a pause on pursuing her education. But her father quickly stopped her and told her, “Me cortaré el brazo antes de que dejes de ir a la escuela,” (I’ll cut my arm off before you stop going to school). He and his wife took up extra jobs to make sure she got her diploma on schedule.
This graduate dedicated her achievements to the many sacrifices her own father made.
One of my biggest accomplishments 🎉🎓. Getting here was not easy, I had many bumps, detours, and moments of self doubt but I stuck to it and without adversities I wouldn't be the strong mujer I am now. My parents crossed the border 29 years ago. They got deported in 2004 and crossed again risking everything they had to get back to my sisters and I. They've always taught me to work hard and never give up they are my motivation and example of hard work and perseverance. This is for them, for all of their hard work for my two younger sisters and for my whole family! First generation graduate, Ama y apa we made it! ☺️.. si se puede! . . Thank you to my family, my boyfriend and all my friends that came out and made it extra special. Also thank you to all of you who have reached out to me 💕. . . 2018 you're my year to shine ✨☺️ … MSW I'm coming for you ✨🎓. #educatedlatina #sociologybachelors #firstgenerationgrad
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This year, we saw quite a few Latinas using their graduation caps as an opportunity to celebrate and thank their fathers for their support, this photo undoubtedly tops our “Things That Make Us Cry” list.
Seriously, who has a tissue box?
My pops and I have our ups and down but I love this man. Ironically, we clash heads because we have the same character but I am thankful because like him I don’t give up, I don’t take no’s for an answer, and I always go after I want. Gracias papa! #SacStateGrad #SacStateAlumni #HechaenSacState #SiSePudo #DaddyGirl
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Even despite having a slightly tumultuous relationship with her father, this moment between this woman and her father is so important. We love this reminder that through thick and thin our parents always have our backs and lessons to give us.
Seeing this graduation story about a father heading across the stage will totally fill your heart.
My papi just graduated with his bachelors degree! At 59 years old. WITH HONORS! 3.8 gpa. He came to this country with no…
No one seems to value education quite as much as immigrants do. This story of a dad, a former janitor, pursuing his bachelors after getting his daughter through college is the actual best.
This Salvadoreña celebrated her dad whose father risked everything for her to get her diploma.
My dad once told me since he never got an education, all he wanted for me is to get what he didn’t so he crossed the border. Thank you papi, this is for you. 🇸🇻 #firstgeneration #CentralAmericanTwitter pic.twitter.com/dKSiB58cYV
— Mayra (@mayr_uh) May 4, 2018
It’s amazing how much the parents of first-generation Americans will leave behind to make sure their children get the best that they can give them.
This Latina’s pic with her dad is emotional, but the story will get your right in the siente.
I almost lost my dad before I left for college, making going away to IU one of the hardest decisions of my life. He's the best storyteller I know and I can only hope to use my education to tell my story just as beautifully as he's told his. My parents migrated to the US so I could earn my degree, and I'm forever grateful for the journey that got me here and for my parents who stood by me every step of the way. This bachelor's degree goes out Mom & Dad 🙏🏽 (Photo credit: @elealmac)
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Kathy Lopez’s emotional Instagram post went viral after she shared a photo with tears rolling down her face and hugging her dad. Her caption told her sweet account of how her father moved to the United States to give her more academic opportunities. #criedout