NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - A high school valedictorian in Texas used her graduation speech to reveal that she is an illegal immigrant living in the United States and urged the audience to remember "immigrants-- undocumented or not-- are people, too."
Larissa Martinez, 18, of McKinney Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas, said that she, her mother and her sister left an abusive and alcoholic father in Mexico City when she was 11 years old.
"After all these years I've mustered up the courage to stand before you and share a struggle I've had to deal with each and every day," said Martinez.
"I am one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of the United States. Undocumented immigrants are people, too. I feel like I owe it to all of you to be honest and I owe it to myself. Many of you see me standing up here and assume my life must be pretty great and my parents must be very proud," said Martinez.
The teen who is reportedly headed to Yale University on a full scholarship, held a 4.95 GPA and took 17 AP classes over her high school career.
McKinney Boyd High School Graduation; Speech by Larissa Martinez comes in at 21:54.
Video of the graduation speech went viral just a day after Mayte Lara Ibarra, a high school valedictorian in Austin, Texas, was slammed for a tweet she posted about her undocumented status: “Valedictorian, 4.5GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented.”
Ibarra was quickly slammed online by trolls who said she didn't deserved the accolades.