Texas Valedictorian, Larissa Martinez steals the stage at graduation speech, outing herself as ‘undocumented’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MIDLAND, TX – Valedictorians reach the highest academic achievement among their peers, and it’s a very proud moment.

Larissa Martinez took center stage at McKinney Boyd High School before the Class of 2016 to not only inspire the student body to overcome their struggles in life, but to share her story.

Martinez, who will be a Yale student in the Fall on a full scholarship, explained how she, her mother, and her sister left an abusive and alcoholic father in Mexico City when she was 11 years old.

She’s now 18, held a 4.95 grade point average, and took 17 AP classes over her high school career.

In her speech, she said, “I am one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of the United States.  Undocumented immigrants are people, too.  I feel like I owe it to all of you to be honest and I owe it to myself.”

“I am one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of the United States. Undocumented immigrants are people, too. I feel like I owe it to all of you to be honest and I owe it to myself.” – Larissa Martinez during valedictorian speach

Martinez did not mention presumptive Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump by name, but mentioned his slogan, “Make America Great” and said, “The US immigration system is broken, and it has forced many families to live in fear.”

She added,  “America can be great again without the construction of a wall built on hatred and prejudice.”

The teen is in the process of having her citizenship application processed and moved to Texas on a tourist visa in 2010.

Martinez’s speech makes national headlines on the heels of a Valedictorian from Austin proclaiming her own immigration status.

Mayte Lara Ibarra is head of her class at David Crockett High School, and posted she is undocumented in a tweet, that was later deleted.


Ibarra  didn’t expect the post to get so much attention, but tweeted a follow up that all the messages she was getting were “kinda scary” and wanted it to “stop.”

Valedictorian speeches should inspire you, and these young ladies have definitely shown their voices were heard, whether you agree their words of wisdom were wise or not.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



Working in the Weather - Caring for a horse in the heat - Carrigan Chauvin

Working in the Weather - Keeping horses safe - Carrigan Chauvin

Monitoring Gulf Low - Adam Krueger

Upper 90's, will feel like triple digits - Adam Krueger

Heat Wave In Cities Across the Country - Adam Krueger

Forecast Heat Index - Adam Krueger

Lifetime Fitness Cafe with Omar


Summers have been getting warmer in Houston

Grill Giveaway with Texas Star Grill Shop

Coming up... National Heat Wave, Grilling Contest - Star Harvey

"Walker" CW39 Houston Interview with Jared P

Biden's European Visit, new record warm low temp

Air Force Base lifts lockdown, Weather outlook - Sharron Melton, Star Harvey

Weekend Weather Forecast - Adam Krueger

TX govt. faces fed lawsuit, TX Tech system growing - Sharron Melton

Heat Pattern, Cicada Invasion, Bats Return - Adam Krueger, Hannah Trippett

National Heat Advisories - Star Harvey

Impacts of an Urban Heat Island - Carrigan Chauvin

Annular Solar Eclipse - Sharron Melton




More Crime

Local Headlines

More Local

Don't Miss