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Jun 09 2016
by Taylor Lang

This Girl Revealed She Is Undocumented In Her Powerful Valedictorian Graduation Speech

By Taylor Lang - Jun 09 2016

Larissa Martinez, a high school student at McKinney Boyd High School, stood up in front of her graduating class and promised that she would not be giving a traditional graduation speech. According to New York Daily News, she delivered on that promise, revealing that she is an undocumented immigrant.

When Martinez was little, she and her family came to the United States to get away from her abusive and alcoholic father. They applied for citizenship, but that was 7 years ago. Her family built a life here in the meantime.

“I am one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of the United States. This might be my only chance to convey the truth to all of you that undocumented immigrants are people too.”

Martinez graduated with 17 AP classes and a 4.95 GPA. She is headed to Yale on a pre-med track. Trying to show that people like her deserve to have respect, she even brought in Donald Trump's idea about building a wall. She stated to New York Daily News:

“America can be great again without the construction of a wall built on hatred and prejudice.”

Other students have done this as well. Another student posted this tweet on her social media. Unfortunately, so many people sent remarks regarding Trump's policies and hate messages that she had to remove all of her social media accounts.

(@MAYTELARA29, TWITTER via New York Daily News)

When it comes to graduation speeches, I definitely think that this could be one of the most surprising, but it's definitely a powerful and inspiring statement.  Congrats to Larissa on all of her accomplishments and good luck at Yale!

Lead Image Credit: New York Daily News

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Taylor Lang - Syracuse University

Taylor is a Broadcast and Digital Journalism Major at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She started writing and editing as a freshman for Fresh U. From there, she began to help create and expand the News and Multimedia Departments. When not doing something relating to journalism, she LOVES Disney and reading while sipping hot tea. She hopes to inspire others to follow their passions and do what makes them happy.

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