- Jennifer Rocha, 21, recently graduated from the University of California.
- Jennifer used to work in the farmer’s field with her parents while studying to make ends meet.
- For her graduation photoshoot, she chose to have it at the farm to honor her parents who helped her achieve her dream!
Graduation photos have never been this heartwarming.
Jennifer Rocha, a 21-year-old who recently graduated college from the University of California, San Diego, is paying tribute to her parents, and how she has made it through college along with the difficult challenges it carried.
Jennifer had her graduation photoshoot in the farmer’s fields where her Mexican immigrant parents are working — and where she also used to work to help in making ends meet.
During high school, the 21-year-old worked in the fields overnight — staying up until 2 or 3 am to plant strawberries, then waking up at 5 am to get to class on time.
Jennifer continued going the extra mile when she reached college. She worked at the university’s police department to help pay for her tuition. There were times her shifts finished at 4 or 5 am, but she’d still attend her class by 8 am. Those quick naps in her car were enough to fuel her for the day, and of course, a driven heart.
Even during winter or summer breaks, Jennifer never stopped working with her parents.
“Coming from a field worker background has motivated me to work hard, as my parents took my sisters and I to the fields in order to understand how difficult labor is,” she said.
According to Jennifer, her parents, Jose Juan and Angelica Maria, who moved from Michoacán, Mexico to Coachella, California, have been field workers since they were children.
“I wanted to go back to the field because that’s what molded me as a person and that’s what gave me the reason to pursue a higher education. My dad’s lesson to the three of his girls was, ‘Hey, if you don’t pursue higher education, this is where you’re going to end up your whole life,’” she added.
So, Jennifer thought that there was no better way to honor her parents than going back to the field to recognize them, and have her graduation photos, in her cap and gown, done in the farm and with her parents.
“That’s what made me want to go back and recognize my parents, because without them, I wouldn’t have the degree,” she said. “It was tough times, but I mean, we got that diploma.”
The 21-year-old graduate, who earned a degree in sociology, hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement to increase Latino representation in the field.
“If it wasn’t for how my parents raised me, I don’t know who I would be today,” Jennifer wrote in a Facebook post. “Coming from a field worker background has motivated me to work hard, as my parents took my sisters and I to the fields in order to understand how difficult labor is.”