A woman who just graduated with her Master's degree celebrated the achievement at honoring the people who helped her get there – her parents, who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and worked in fruit fields to give their children a better life. Erica A. Alfaro posed for a photo with her parents in the very fruit fields they had worked. She wore her cap and gown forphoto that has gone viral.
"Con mucho cariño le dedico mi maestría a mis papas. Are sacrificios de venir a país para darnos un mejor futuro si valió la pena, " Alfaro wrote in the original caption to the photo. "With much love, I dedicate my master's degree to my parents."
Alfaro graduated from San Diego State University with a Master's in Education, CBS San Diego reports. She dreams of becoming a school counselor, a job from her original job: working in tomato fields.
When she was just 14 years old, her mother took her and her siblings to the fields to work during the summer. "Alfaro told CBS San Diego." [AlfarotoldCBSSanDiego
While her parents they did not have formal education and could barely read or write, they always encouraged their children to pursue education. Alfaro was the first in her family to graduate college, her brother followed in 2012 and her sister is not far behind.
Alfaro said she wanted to mark her new milestone byher parents made.
"My mom when I showed her my cap and gown for the first time," the graduate said . "[She] told me that her sacrifices were worth it. That all those hours in the fields were worth it."
Alfaro's parents with as teenagers working in the fields of Fresno. Her siblings were born in Tijuana. Their father received residency during " la amnistia" or 1989, CBS San Diego reports.
The Alfaro siblings commuted across the border to San Ysidro Middle School in San Diego. In 2003, they were able to permanently move from Mexico to California.
Alfaro's mom still works between tomato, strawberry raspberry and blueberry fields, depending on the season. Her dad now works for a landscaping company. Their daughter wanted to take her graduation photos in the fields to shine on the importance of education
"My goal is to encourage under-represented students to continue with their education," Alfaro said. "I also want to help domestic violence survivors and teenage mothers. I hope they can get inspired with my story."