Following the May 21 ceremony on Edwards Parade, an emotional Ferreira embraced her parents and, to honor their sacrifices, placed her cap on her mother’s head and her gown around her father’s shoulders. The moment was caught on video and went viral on TikTok, where it has been viewed and liked more than 132,000 times since Ferreira posted it on June 15. Her story got the attention of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, which recently aired a segment about the commencement video and spoke to Tiffany and her sister, Lauren.
“I wouldn’t have the degree without them, all their hard work, their support, all their love throughout the years,” Ferreira told NBC Nightly News anchor Kate Snow. “They literally sweat every single day to provide us with everything we need to succeed.”
She also said that she hopes the video inspires other first-generation students to go to college.
“I think that being a first-generation college student is difficult. Many students may think, ‘Oh, because my family didn’t, I’m also unable to go to college,’ and I really hope this video inspires people to try.”