The accomplishments are individual, but their victories have represented a collective journey for the Murillo family.
The family has three separate graduations this month, with father, daughter and son all graduating from different schools.
It happened serendipitously.
Alexis was first, graduating with a master’s in education from Harvard University.
She’s the first person in the family to go to college and to eventually earn a secondary degree.
She was also selected to deliver a speech to first-generation Harvard classmates.
“The degree wasn’t something that I got on my own,” said Alexis. “I truly believe in the power of relationships, family and community. I’ll be the first person to get a Master’s and go to Harvard in the family but I know I certainly won’t be the last.”
The family also had more reason to celebrate, as Alexis’ brother Zachary graduated from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.
As if that weren’t enough, Pedro, the patriarch of the family, earned his GED, while working full-time, and will deliver a commencement address at Daley College next month.
“I wanted to finish years ago, but it did not happen that way,” said Pedro. “Now I can watch my children succeed and show them that you can never give up. Yeah, I did want to quit. But my daughter was looking so forward for us to graduate together. I know it meant a lot to her. And we always instilled with them the importance of education, so I couldn’t quit.”
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