Graduating is a huge milestone for a lot of students, but receiving that piece of paper for students of immigrant parents is much, much deeper. Against all odds, through every struggle, these parents have persisted in hopes of giving their children a better future.

To celebrate the immigrants who turned dreams into realities, Define American, a non-profit media and culture organization, created the #ImmiGrad hashtag. "Graduation is an important day for everyone, but for many children of immigrants, it is the very reason they are in this country," Define America states.

The hashtag immediately gained traction on Instagram, allowing recent grads to share their beautiful and empowering messages of immigrant pride — and here are 13 heartfelt #ImmiGrad stories that will bring you to tears:


"I never imagined my father would sacrifice his health for me so that I could get an education."

The cap says it all???? ft. @hatecopy ????‍???????? Today, my brother and I celebrate our crown givers, our immigrant parents. Today we graduated. We're not living the American Dream, we're living the Immigrant Dream. I never imagined my father would sacrifice his health for me so that I could get an education. During my first semester at Sac State, my father was diagnosed with a diabetic eye disease. I cannot express to you the guilt I felt after finding out. My father did not want to spend a dime on his health because he wanted to put my brother & I through school. My father suffered in silence, he kept his vision troubles to himself until one day he almost crashed his truck into oncoming traffic. My father does not have the most glamorous job. He is a farm worker that loves what he does, but with diabetes it is hard to love a job that is harsh on your body. I feel as if God has a special way of nudging us in life. If God didn't step in when he did then today my father would be blind; meaning my father wouldn't have been able to see my brother and I walk across the stage. I will be honest, I am amazed at how I got here today, but then again I know why I am here today. If my father could push through the pain, as I know he did --then I can easily place a college degree in his hardworking hands. Our parents suffer in silence so we can be blessed with success. On many occasions, I have held my father when his blood sugar was too low. On many occasions, I have been a witness to his pain. On many occasions, I have felt guilty because I wished to be the one suffering instead. When I say that I am proud to be the daughter of immigrants, I do not say this lightly. I am charmed to the moon to say that I will be the first person out of my family to go to grad school this fall. These last 5 years have been a journey, but we made it Ma & Dad! Much love & Light to the class of 2017???????? P.S @SacState this daughter of immigrants still has more to offer, see you in the fall???? ______________ #StingersUp #MadeAtSacState #SacState #GradCap #GradSchool #Immigrants #Indian #India #SouthAsian #Sikh #Graduation #Diabetes #Diabetic #SacstateGrad #immigrad

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"Todo gracias a los sueños de mis padres."

("All thanks to the dreams of my parents.")


"Thank you mami and daddy for always telling me that receiving an education no matter where it may be from is valuable."