Former immigrant farmworker achieves ‘the American dream’ after graduating with honors

When a desperate Adolfo Gonzalez crossed the U.S.-Mexico border he was 25 years old.

He felt he had no other choice if he was to help and support his mom and siblings back home.

He worked as a farm worker in the scorching heat and humidity of Salinas, California harvesting celery.

That was in 1986, and today he has become an inspiration to so many immigrants who want to live the American dream.

Now his inspirational story is being shared by thousands.

The 58-year-old is now just a step away from becoming a teacher after he graduated from college.

He received his degree in Spanish with honors at the California State University (CSUMB) the Salinas Californian reported.

He had to support his mom and siblings

Gonzalez left Oaxaca City, where he had been living since he was 8 years old, and crossed the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego in 1986; he spoke no English.

He lived in the U.S. without legal status before marrying his wife in 1992 and eventually gained citizenship through her.

“I took the decision to come to the United States like everybody does, because it’s the only way we can support our family,” Adolfo told the Californian.


For 18 years he did back-breaking work harvesting celery by day and took English classes when it wasn’t celery season, earning a GED diploma at a local adult school, the publication said.

He subsequently attended a community college and received a Service Learning Award for returning to the adult school where he earned his GED to help other students with literacy and communication skills.

‘It’s kind of like the American dream’

Now Adolfo has set his sights on a teaching credential “so that he can make impactful contributions to learners of all abilities in Monterey County,” CSUMB said.

“He’s such an inspiration to the students because they see themselves. … It’s kind of like the American dream we want to believe in,” instructor Robert Paden told the Californian.

Adolfo now plans to get a master’s degree in education.

Adolfo Gonzalez, bottom row on right, with his classmates / California State University, San Marcos

Despite all the obstacles Adolfo faced and being told he was too old, and his English wasn’t good enough, he never gave up.

He is a great example of what you can achieve when you work hard and never lose sight of your dreams.

Please share his inspirational story with others.