This Girl’s Graduation Speech Just Went Viral For Powerful Reason

by : Tom Percival on : 09 Jun 2016 16:44
valedictorian featuredvaledictorian featuredMcKinney High School

A Texas high School valedictorian has caused a viral shitstorm on social media, when she revealed in her graduation speech that she’s an illegal immigrant.


The Daily Mail reports, Larissa Martinez amazed her classmates at McKinney Boyd High School when she admitted to being one of America’s 11 million undocumented citizens, fleeing Mexico to escape her abusive father.

The brave 18-year-old explained that she didn’t want to give a ‘traditional Hallmark’ speech and instead delivered a powerful speech championing the truth and slamming Donald Trump’s ‘hateful prejudice’.

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In front of a crowd of thousands the teen, who’s got a scholarship to Yale University, said:


Immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, are people too.We are here without documentation because the U.S. immigration system is broken and forces many families to live in fear.

She admitted that it had taken years to build up the courage to reveal her background, and paid tribute to both her friends and mother who helped her and her sister escape Mexico when she was just 11.

grad 1grad 1McKinney High School

She said:

I’d like to offer you a different kid of speech. One that offers expectations versus reality. Many of you see me standing up here and assume my life must be pretty great and my parents must be very proud.

My reality is quite different. On July 11 it will be exactly six years since I moved to McKinney from Mexico City where I was born and raised. A girl whose only dream was to become an American and who thought moving countries would solve all of the problems in her life.

The American dream wasn’t easy for Larissa who found people looking down on her for her background, adding she had to make sacrifices for her sister while their mother worked late shifts.

Despite this Larissa maintained an incredible 4.95 GPA and took 17 AP classes over her high school career, saying that she’s always had knowledge at her finger tips.


After she’d finished her emotional speech she was given a standing ovation and a number of her classmates plus others took to Twitter to applaud her.

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: News


The Daily Mail
  1. The Daily Mail

    Texas high school valedictorian bound for Yale on a full scholarship reveals she is an illegal immigrant in her graduation speech