Man Pays Tribute To His Farmworker Parents After Graduating From Medical School

Jul 21, 2021 by apost team

A parent always wishes they can provide better for their children than they received in their own childhood. This is especially true for parents Loreto and Maricela Juarez, who immigrated to the United States in the 1980s with only what they could carry. Their son, Erick Juarez, was valedictorian at his highschool, went to Harvard for his undergraduate degree and graduated from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in Spring 2021. In June, Erick began his residency training in neurology at UCLA Health.

As a tribute to his parents, who were farmworkers in rural southwest Georgia, Erick returned to the farm where they worked in Bainbridge to honor their hard work which made it possible for him to pursue such a bright future. He made posts on his Instagram account crediting his parents for helping him reach these heights. 

Erick also has four siblings with promising careers as an electrician, soon-to-be teacher, hopeful engineer and another future healthcare worker. Erick shared on his social media that his parents, who grew up in rural Mexico, never had the opportunity to pursue an education, with his father stopping after elementary school and his mother in middle school. They are both the oldest of 10 children.

Erick really appreciates the sacrifices his parents have made for him and his siblings and honors them while celebrating his personal achievements. He sees his accomplishments as one small step for himself but a leap for his family. Erick will be the first person in his family history to work a white collar job. Keep reading to hear more about this uplifting story.

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In an interview with TODAY, Erick said he was inspired by his hardworking parents. "I was able to transfer that work ethic from the fields to the books," said the recent medical school graduate.

The entire family gathered for Erick’s graduation and he had his mother and father take photos with his cap and gown to have them join in the moment. "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?"

Loreto and Maricela moved to the country in the 80s and were two of the nearly 3 million beneficiaries of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which made them legal residents. "My parents arrived in the U.S. with nothing to lose but everything to gain," Erick shared.

Erick has worked to become a doctor to give back to his community. "I stand ready to become the first person in family history to earn a white-collar job and to begin serving the various communities I represent, especially the unsung heroes of the pandemic — farmworkers," explained Erick to Today.

Erick added, "Despite my parents not fully understanding most of the things I’ve done in life, I know they are proud — of me and my four siblings.”

The UCLA resident wrote on his Instagram about his parents, “It’s as much, if not more, a victory lap for them as it is for me. And I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

What do you think of this inspiring story? Were you the first in your family to attend college? We want to hear from you, and be sure to pass this along to your loved ones.

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