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Thursday, July 18, 2024

18-year-old girl whose parents worked as a farmer to pay her school fees graduates as best student, wins full scholarship to US university

An 18-year-old girl named Brenda Alvarez-Lagunas whose parents worked as farmers to pay her school fees has finally graduates from high school. She was awarded her school’s valeduictorian and a full scholarship to the university.

Brenda, a Florida teen was awarded the best graduating student of Mulberry High School , in the United States. Giving her Valedictory speech, she started by placing a carton of fruit on the podium according to GMA.

“Care for some strawberries? These are no ordinary strawberries,” she said acknowledging jokingly that the strawberries will not be enough for everyone present at the graduation ceremony.

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She describes herself as the daughter of two farmers who spent most of their days working in fields of strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers and sweet potatoes. Brenda said she grew up under poor conditions, which worsened after her father was deported to Mexico.

 

 

 

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She stated that her mother and father both left school after the fourth grade, and her sister dropped out after she became pregnant. During the speech, she holds up a series of strawberries and reveals, that they each represent: sweat, dirt, the blazing sun, and aches and pains.

“I am motivated by my mother’s hands that are slowly losing feeling from years of arduous work in the dirt and fields. And I am motivated by the endless support that I had been given,” she said. 

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Despite the struggles, Brenda said her parents taught her the value of a strong work ethic and resilience. “Despite the beaming sun and the body aches and pains, their smile showed with every bucket of produce they carried,” she said.

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Brenda graduated from her high school with a 4.68 grade point average. Mulberry High School principal, Michael Young said her speech attracted emotional response from the crowd of nearly 3,000.

“She really had such a focus on her dreams, and she knew what opportunity was, being of a migrant family of such limited opportunity. She’s a very talented girl,” Micheal said. Brenda is a founding member of the Adelante Club, which organizes toy drives, and food drives and provides literacy outreach for migrant youth.

Brenda said she credits some of her success to her mentor Dani Higgins, who helps migrant students and those living under poor conditions. She added that her advice to young people struggling to persevere is to make any moment worth it.

“If you come from a poor family, use every resource you possibly can and try to better yourself. Never let circumstances bring you down,” she said.

Brenda will be proceeding to study Bioengineering at Stanford University, United States on a full scholarship. scholarship

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