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A woman reveals she's undocumented at her graduation speech and brings the house down.

After nearly six years in the U.S., Larissa Martinez opened up about her immigration status in the best way possible.

Larissa Martinez graduated valedictorian of her high school class. She had a 4.95 GPA, took 17 AP courses, and earned a full scholarship to Yale.

Photo via WFAA.


And as is tradition for valedictorians, Martinez put together a speech to be delivered during the school's graduation ceremony. When it came time to write her delivered remarks, however, Martinez veered from platitudes about following your dreams and never letting others stand in your way.

Instead, during her speech, she did something completely unexpected: She outed herself as an undocumented immigrant.

Up to that point, only 10 people at her high school knew about her undocumented status. Here she was, a heartwarming success story with a secret she hoped wouldn't mar how her classmates viewed her.


All GIFs via WFAA/McKinney ISD.

Her words clearly resonated with her classmates. She received a thunderous round of applause throughout her speech and a standing ovation at the end.

Martinez has been in the U.S. for nearly six years living with her mom and her sister.

The family fled her mother's abusive husband in Mexico City, hoping to start a new life in America. They never planned on being undocumented, and they tried to do it the "right" way. However, the U.S. immigration system is, sadly and frustratingly, broken. Seven years after applying for citizenship, her family's application still hadn't been processed.

"We are trying to do it the right way, but we don't know how," she told her classmates, asking them to look beyond how the media portrays immigrants, especially during this election season.

Her heartwarming message conveyed hope, calling on people to see immigrants as people, as part of America.

Because if you think about it, what makes her any less entitled to live here than the millions of other Americans whose families immigrated here? Most of us are American citizens by the pure luck of being born here. Why should her dreams be seen as less valid?


And being undocumented can make getting an education even harder, as many of those students struggle with fear of deportation.

A 2015 UCLA study of college students found that, as the result of looming concerns about being deported, many undocumented students struggle with anxiety.

About 29% of undocumented men and about 37% of undocumented women surveyed had an anxiety score above the clinical cutoff level. Those numbers are pretty extreme when you compare them to the rates of anxiety in others surveyed (4% for men and 9% for women).

Photo by WFAA.

She ends her speech with quite a mic drop.

"I ask for all of you to try to look beyond the way in which the media portrays us and the dehumanizing accusations that some politicians have made."

You can watch WFAA's report below, and you can view her whole speech here.


Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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K.G/Youtube

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Depending on which corners of social media you call home, few happenings from the 2023 Grammy awards were as divisive as Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ performance of the song “Unholy.” Was it a historic moment of inclusion or a historic display of a Satanic ritual broadcast to the world?

On the one hand, the pair made music history. After winning the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Smith became the first non-binary artist to win the category, along with Petra who became the first trans woman to win the category.

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