Graduates honor their immigrant roots with letters to their parents

With graduation season in full swing, we have asked some of our Human Development and Family Studies graduates to reflect on the road and people who led them to where they are today.

Our students shared stories by writing letters of appreciation to their parents to celebrate their accomplishment.

Grab a box of tissues, and check out some of their letters below.

Neylin Muneton, Human Development and Family Studies – General Concentration

Dear Ama y Apa,

A family photo at an outdoor celebration.
Muneton, fourth from right, and her family.

Lo logramos! From teaching me to count with frijoles to graduating from college, you have been with me every step of the way. I know that this diploma, this achievement, is not only mine, but ours because as proud of me as you are I could have not done any of this without you both.  After tireless nights and time apart, we are finally done. To the people that worked since they were children and have done so until this day, thank you. To the most hard-working and caring people I know, thank you.

Thank you for always putting my siblings and me first, for leaving your home country in search for a better life for your future children. Without knowing the language, the people, the customs, you left it all behind to build a life here.

From humble origins you both have taught me the true value of an education and have instilled in me a strength and drive to make you both proud. Trust me when I say that through the challenges and hardships, it was worth it. We began our journey in a Catholic elementary school where I was afraid to let go of your hands and venture out, but you always reassured me that I could do it. From there to a high school that pushed my limits and assured me that no matter where I came from, if I worked hard I would get to and through college. That’s where the real tests began, and when I dedicated myself to assuring that not only I would get into college, but I would do so without putting either of you in a financial strain. And with hard work and endless prayers, I did it.

Now, I am hours away from getting a University diploma, which used to be something that I only dreamt about, but has finally become a reality. Even though leaving home and the comfort of having you and my siblings around was hard and the days apart felt like an eternity, God had bigger plans for me, and this achievement has been filled with so much love, support, and happiness, and for that I am thankful. Being a Latina and pursuing higher education is not an easy task, so thank you for always pushing me and assuring me that I was capable. Congratulations to us, our journey has been a crazy blessing!

Joselyn Loya Acosta, Human Development and Family Studies – Prevention and Intervention Concentration

Dear Mom and Dad,

Portrait of a family of four.
Loya, second from right, and her family.

There really are not enough words to thank you for everything that you have done for me. I don’t even know where to begin to express my love and gratitude to you both. Twenty-two years ago, you left your home country and left everything behind. All to provide a better life for your children. Fast forward to 22 years later and here we are: I am about to graduate from college with a bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University. This college degree is not just a representation of my own sacrifices, it’s a representation of yours too, because if it wasn’t for you taking that leap of faith 22 years ago, I would not be here. Thank you for risking your life, for starting over in a place that was so new and confusing to you, yet you still figured it out. Thank you for being so resilient and never letting your guard down no matter what happened. Thank you for passing those skills on to me and teaching me to “hecharle ganas” and never give up, no matter what obstacles are ahead. Together we have figured it out. Together we are getting this diploma, and I want you to feel just as proud for putting in the work to get me here today. This diploma is OURS. Never forget that. Nunca. Siempre lucharemos juntos y siempre vamos a estar unidos. Por mi, por mi familia, por mi gente. Si se pudo y la lucha sigue!

Ashley Roman, Human Development and Family Studies – Prevention and Intervention Concentration with a minor in Spanish

Para mi mama y mi papa:

A family portrait in front of greenery.
Roman, second from right, and her family.

The day is finally here. The day that we have all worked so hard for the past four years. You both sacrificed so much when you moved to the United States and left your family behind. You came and assimilated to the culture here, but I am so thankful for my Latina culture that you have implemented into my sisters and me. I know that if it weren’t for all the support that you both gave me I would not be graduating in three days. We were unsure of how to pay for my schooling, and you both figured out how we were going to afford it. I almost dropped out because I did not think that I would be able to watch you sacrifice so much for me for the next four years. We figured it out through scholarships and financial aid. WE made it. This degree means so much more to me because this is for us. You have another daughter that will be a college graduate, and I am so proud that you have implemented this drive in us.

You both have worked so hard for my sisters and me to have whatever it is that we need, and for that, I am unconditionally grateful. You both immigrated from Mexico in hopes of having a better life here. I imagine that it is better here, but I see how hard you work, and I am hoping that one day I will be able to help you both and not let either of you work. I honestly did not see myself graduating from college. I had no idea what I wanted to study when I got here. I just knew that I have always wanted to help people. I found what my passion is, and not once did either of you doubt my potential that I have to complete this. I just want you both to know that this degree, this diploma, is not just for me, it is for all of us. Toda la familia. Gracias por sus sacrificios y todo lo que hicieron para que nosotras podemos estudiar y sacarlos adelante.

Para mis padres,

Llegaron sin nada y me lo dieron todo. Gracias mama y papa.


The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.