In a recent piece headlined ‘Growing Up Wealthy Can Be a Major Obstacle to True Success,’ prominent business magazine Inc stated that individuals who do not come from well-to-do households have “fire in their gut, grit, and drive to venture far out of their comfort zone.”
This is another one of those tales.
Jeniffer Rocha, a University of California, San Diego graduate, walked to the fields and posed for the cameras in an effort to commemorate her parents and their support to her achievement, which was featured on many news networks across the world.
Jeniffer Rocha attributes her desire to work hard to her family’s experience as agricultural workers.
Her decision to remember her happiest moment highlighting the struggle her family endured reveals her humility and down-to-earth approach of not forgetting her beginnings, complete with her mortar board and gown, pays honor to her roots — the laborious fields of her immigrant parents.
“I wanted to return to the field since it shaped me as a person and provided me with the motivation to pursue a higher degree.”
“Hey, if you don’t pursue further education, this is where you’re going to end up your whole life,” my father told her three daughters.
Jeniffer said her mother and father, Jose Juan and Angelica Maria, were both from Michoacán, Mexico, when she told the story of her parents’ origins. Both moved to Coachella, California, and have worked as field workers since then.
Jeniffer, meantime, revealed that she had been working in the fields since high school, cultivating strawberries till 2 to 3 a.m. before getting up at 5 a.m. to go to class.
Her labor did not stop even while she attended studies at UC San Diego, a remarkable story of tenacity and dedication.
“I worked with my parents during the winter and summer vacations. That’s what made me want to go back and recognize my parents, because I wouldn’t have the degree if it weren’t for them.”
She worked not just in her parents’ farmers’ field, but also at the university’s police department while balancing schoolwork to help pay her tuition.
“My shifts would last until 4 or 5 a.m.,” she says. I’d have to be ready for class by 8 a.m., so I’d usually sleep in my car.”
She decided to commute back and forth from her sister’s place in order to save money.
“It was a difficult period, but I obtained my diploma.”
“I don’t know who I would be today if it wasn’t for how my parents reared me,” Jeniffer stated, adoring her parents.
“Coming from a field worker family has inspired me to work hard, as my parents used to take my sisters and me to the fields to show us how difficult labor can be.”
Jeniffer earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and now wants to work in police enforcement.
“Working in the fields develops and shapes a distinct kind of personality. A character who never gives up, as well as one who has the resilience and strength to resist the perils of the profession.”