A grateful first-generation college grad places her hood and stole on her parents and emotionally thanks them for their support and sacrifices.

Carolina Saavedra, 23, credits parents Alejandra Carino and Eleazar Saavedra’s support for helping her graduate from Caldwell University in New Jersey on May 15.

According to Carolina, her parents would always tell her, “ponte las pilas,” a term used to say, “put the work in.”

Alejandra and Eleazar wanted their daughter to have opportunities that they did not.

When her father would leave for work at 4am and see his daughter working on papers, he would always encourage Carolina to finish the assignment before he left the house.


Carolina’s gesture after the ceremony was captured on video by her sister and she later shared the clip online where the tear-jerking moment quickly went viral.

Carolina, who graduated with a double major in art and psychology, said: “My siblings knew I was going to do it.

“I was holding back tears but I did thank them for their sacrifice and allowing me to study what I wanted.

“I hope the video inspires other first-generation students to go forth and finish their degrees in order to have a moment like I did.


“The reaction to my video was very positive and I had a lot of Hispanics wish me well and hope that they can also share this moment with their parents or children.

“My takeaway is that although my parents don’t show affection because of their upbringing, we should break the cycle and show that to them – I know my parents sensed that pride but may have not expressed it openly.

“I also think it is important to be ambitious and go for the things you want.”

Story via T&T Creative Media