Texas Valedictorian Reveals She’s An Illegal Immigrant In Speech
During a high school graduation in Texas, the high school's valedictorian revealed she is an illegal immigrant during her graduation speech.
A Texas high school valedictorian made a courageous revelation during her graduation speech, in front of her graduating class and their families. Larissa Martinez is the valedictorian for her senior class at McKinney Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas. During her speech at the ceremony, the 18 year-old revealed her life story and the fact that she is an illegal immigrant living in the United States.
Martinez told the crowd that "immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, are people too." She also explained how she came to the United State to flee her abusive, alcoholic father in Mexico. She has now graduated high school at the top of her class and has been offered a full scholarship to Yale.
Martinez decided to go against the "traditional Hallmark version" of the Valedictorian speech and instead explained that she was one of the 11 million undocumented citizens living in the United States. She also spoke about her distaste for Donald Trump and his plans to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
Larissa Martinez also thanked her mother during her speech,
"While mothers move mountains for their children, you literally moved countries for my sister and me."
Martinez explained how when she was younger, her only dream was to become an American. She also told the audience how her intelligence had been questioned because of her background. She also admitted she lives in a one bedroom apartment with her sister and mother. The three share a bed.
"Despite not having the internet, a washing machine, or even my own bed, I always have knowledge at my fingertips. I feel like I owe it to all of you to be honest and I owe it to myself."
Martinez earned a 4.95 GPA and took 17 APA classes in high school. Her emotional speech earned her a standing ovation from her class and the audience.
According to the Daily Mail, federal law doesn't prohibit states from providing in-state tuition to undocumented students.
To qualify in Texas, a student must: Graduate from a public or private high school, or receive a GED, in Texas; Reside in Texas for at least the 3 years leading up to high school graduation or receiving a GED; Reside in Texas for the 12 consecutive months right before the semester the student is enrolling in college; and Provide the institution an affidavit stating that they will file an application to become a U.S. permanent resident as soon as they are eligible to do so.
To watch the entire McKinney Boyd High School graduation click here.