Immigrant of the Day – Larissa Martinez – Valedictorian

Posted on: June 12th, 2016
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[Today’s Immigrant of the Day post is guest written by Eden Siskind, a student at the University of Maryland]

Today’s immigrant of the day is Larissa Martinez who gave an empowering and shocking valedictorian speech at McKinney Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas. During her speech, she revealed that she was an undocumented immigrant. Her valedictorian position is as a result of her hard work to reach a 4.95 GPA, and comes after taking 17 AP classes during her time at McKinney.

According to an interview with local news station, WFAA, Larissa and her family live in a modest, one-bedroom apartment in McKinney. Larissa and her family fled Mexico City in 2010 to escape an abusive and alcoholic father. Although they did not come over with much, Larissa has been able to apply herself to her education. She will now be attending Yale on a full scholarship. In her speech she highlights the stereotypes often made about undocumented immigrants. Larissa explains that she as a valedictorian is combatting the negative stereotypes everywhere about immigrants.

I admire Larissa for going public with her secret and commend her outstanding achievements. Best of luck at Yale and in the future!

Here is a short video clip of Larissa’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oe2x3Gefmo