UCSD Grad Honors Farm Worker Parents in Stunning Photo Series

A 2021 UC San Diego graduate has captivated the internet with stunning graduation photos taken in the fields her parents have worked since immigrating to the US from Michoacán, Mexico.

“I'm proud that that's where I come from," Jennifer Rocha told KQED. "It's a huge part of who I am."

"The whole reason I wanted to go back to the fields with my parents is because I wouldn't have the degree and the diploma if it wasn't for them. They sacrificed their backs, their sweat, their early mornings, late afternoons, working cold winters, hot summers just to give me and my sisters an education."

Jennifer sacrificed too, sometimes helping her parents plant strawberries until 3 am and then waking a few hours later to get ready for school. At the same time, she was working as a cadet with the Beverly Hills Police Department. She hopes to be a police chief someday.

Jennifer’s favorite photograph from the series features her parents, Angelica Maria and Jose Juan Rocha, in their work clothes among the fields in Coachella. In another shot, Jennifer — dressed in her graduation gown, cap, and heels — is seen lifting a bucket beside the farmland.

The entire series is a celebration of hard work, humility, and the American dream. Check out the photos here