My name is Mony Thach and I'm graduating from Evergreen High School.
I moved from Phnom Penh, which is the capital of Cambodia, when I was about five years old.
In Cambodia, my mom worked at a fruit stand and I would help her because in Cambodia, when you're born, that's when you're thinking about working already.
In my family, I was the only person to even go through kindergarten, through high school.
At first, it was so confusing because all the other kids would understand things, I would be a little behind.
And that was when I realized this was different than just delivering fruit and trying to live.
This was learning and this was trying to build myself.
I was fortunate to know a lot of friends who helped me through the process.
They knew I was a first-generation student and they knew that my family and I have never seen anything like this.
But they thought that I could get into a university that I wanted.
When I got my acceptance letter, I was a little speechless.
And I remember telling my mom and she got so excited.
Me being able to tell them that I got accepted to this university, it gave me enough,
because all I wanted to do was repay them back for all the lessons they taught me, the time they gave me, all the love they gave me.
My message to my class would be, we're gonna have a bright future.
And I'm proud to know that.