The Class of 2016 deserves some extra credit.
Latino graduates across the country are decorating their caps with special messages honoring their families, their communities and even Selena Quintanilla.
The decked out caps vary in designs ranging from heartfelt messages of hope and gratitude to funny and creative interpretations of culturally relevant icons and sayings, and are being shared on social media using the hashtags #LatinxGradCaps.
The hashtag was started by Latina Rebels founder Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez, who after receiving a text from a Latina grad showcasing her crafty cap, started curating others on Instagram. She tells The Huffington Post the hashtag is her way of honoring grads. “To be young, brown, and woke…THIS is our future, they are the ones who will pave the way,” explains the 30-year-old Nicaraguan, who lives in Miami. “It wasn’t even a brilliant idea that was thought out. I sort of just wanted to celebrate them — all of them.”
Latinos aren’t the only ones decorating their graduation caps, but they’re definitely taking these crafty creations to another level. Many grads are using their once-plain caps to call attention to the systemic obstacles faced by many young Latinos and pay homage to the relatives and community who helped them persevere. Hats off to them all!
Check out recent grads’ creative caps and heartfelt stories below.
"My name is Graciela and this Saturday I will be graduating with my B.A. I will also be the first Latina in my schools history to ever give the commencement speech! The road to graduation was not easy. When I was 16 I had to runaway from my abusive adoptive family. I remained homeless as I traveled the country in search for a new beginning. Eventually I found myself in WI, where a teacher took me in and allowed me to start fresh. This diploma/speech are dedicated to all the women and children like me who were told they wouldn't achieve anything in life. They tried to bury us, but they didn't know we were seeds!" #LatinxGradCaps
"For everytime I was told I couldnt. For every person who didn't want me to suceed. For every moment life turned against me. For the huge obstacles my parents and I had to overcome to get to this moment. For the many times I had to prove myself to others. For the times I had to "earned my way into spaces not meant for me". Mom and dad gracias a ustedes aprend que es ser valiente. Que cada no, es un si que viene hacia mi. Que nunca me tengo que dar por vencida porque al final de el dia siempre tendr su apoyo. Los sacrificios que isieron por mi, nunca se los podr pagar. En muy pocos aos ya no van a tener que trabajar duro porque ser mi turno de ver por ustedes. Un da muy pronto ya no van a sentir l cansancio porque no lo permitir." -@yajiz418 #LatinxGradCaps
I'm Jessica and this weekend I will be graduating from the U of I and words can't even explain this feeling. I am so humbled to say that I will be the opening speaker at the Latinx Congratulatory tomorrow and I can't wait to spend these last few days with the people that matter most. To those that believed in me, that never gave up on me and even to those that doubted me. This one is for mi gente, for the south side of Chicago. Hood girls can make it too. Mam, Pap, si se pudo. -@_jrams #LatinxGradCaps
#LatinxGradCaps ""For my beautiful ama y apa for bringing me into this world and raising me as their Aztec Queen. For my amazing parents that abandon their home and buried their dreams as they crossed the border, in order help me chase after mine. For my apa that has always worked two jobs. For my ama that has to wake up everyday at 1AM to go to work. For the times my parents told me that BROWN was beautiful and that I could do it. For my brother and sorority sisters of . I couldn't do it with you all."
Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com