TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Desert View High School senior Nancy Sierras Morales saw her parents get deported to Mexico when was 14. Now at 18, she's graduating with honors and a full ride to one of the state's top universities.
"You learn how to be just more thankful and ... more grateful about what you have and what you don't have," Morales said.
Her support system that's supposed to be getting her ready to walk across that stage is gone.
"I learned how to be more optimistic, more independent," Morales said. "I grew up very fast."
"Growing up with little to no resources in a side of town where you're supposed to fail, in a way it's an achievement," Morales said.
"Class of 2016, today you graduate as the highest scholarship-earning class ever to come out of Desert View High School," the DVHS principal said during his speech to the graduating class.
And as each of these graduate go their separate ways, for Morales, it is all about moving forward, even when those you love can't move with you.
"You have to always think positively and be determined to do what you want and if you want something," Morales said. "Go ahead and go get it."
More than 300 Desert View High School seniors walked across the stage. This class received more than $5.7 million in scholarships.