Texas Teen Tells Her Class She’s Undocumented In Her Valedictorian Speech
“They told me I couldn’t, so I did.”
Larissa Martinez graduated at the top of her class at MicKinney Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas, with a 4.95 GPA. The Texas teen’s accomplishments paid off. She was admitted to Yale on a full ride. Martinez accomplished all of this while being undocumented, a fact that was a secret up until her valedictorian speech.
Martinez bared her soul over the course of her nine-minute speech, telling her classmates that she and her family (her mother and sister) fled Mexico to escape an abusive and alcoholic father, and how she had to give up part of her childhood to raise her younger sister, as her mother worked all the time to afford their one-bedroom apartment. Midway through her speech, Martinez confessed that she was an undocumented immigrant, and asked the crowd for their compassion.
“The most important part of the debate and is often overlooked is that immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, are people, too,” she said, clearly fighting back emotion. “People with dreams, aspirations, hopes and loved ones. People like me. People who have become a part of the American society and way of life and who yearn to help make ‘America great again’ without the construction of a wall built on hatred and prejudice.”
As soon as Larissa Martinez finished her speech, the building erupted in a standing ovation. Before you click the play button, we suggest you grab a tissue.
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