Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

“From The Fields To The Books.” Man Honors Parents With Special Graduation Photos.

Many years ago, Loreto and Maricela Juárez made the difficult decision to leave their home and move to the U.S. to find work.

They entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico and ended up at a farm in rural Georgia. In 1986, they became citizens and went on to raise five children on their modest farmworker salaries.

The way Loreto and Maricela worked hard every day to provide for their family left a huge impact on their children. Erick Martínez Juárez, their second child, dedicated himself to his academic goals from an early age to honor his parents’ sacrifices.

A gifted student, Erick has always made his mom and dad proud. He was the first Hispanic student to ever become valedictorian at Bainbridge High School. Later, he became the first person from his hometown to ever graduate from Harvard University – and the first person in his family to ever graduate from college!

Each time he celebrated a new victory, it was important to Erick to return to the same field where his parents have made their living all these years. “I was able to transfer that work ethic from the fields to the books,” he said.

Erick kept up this tradition when he graduated from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University this spring. He is now a neurology resident at UCLA Health.

He calls this latest achievement a “victory lap” for his family. To celebrate, he shared pictures of himself dressed in his cap and gown, posing in the field with his beaming parents.

“My graduation from medical school was one small step for me, one giant leap for fam-kind,” he wrote.

“I wanted to honor my parents by showcasing them to my friends and the world,” Erick said. “What better way than showing the world how far we’ve come since they immigrated to this great nation with nothing but their hard work ethic and the clothes on their backs?”

Now this is the American Dream! What a great example of how our struggles can help us achieve amazing things!

Share this story to congratulate Dr. Juárez on his incredible accomplishments.

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.