Modesto-- Matilde Hernández is charismatic, energetic and optimistic. The California State University, Stanislaus student lives for her education and for her mother.
"I do what I do for my mom, she is the only thing I have in the world," said Hernández, 23. "I see the sacrifices she is doing for the two of us."
Hernández is an only child to a single mother. Twelve years ago, they left their native México City searching for a better life in this country.
"We came with a temporary visa, it expired and we stayed," said the student.
When she graduated from Modesto's Downey High School, and then attended Modesto Junior College, Hernández was able to continue her college education as an AB 540 student -- state law that allows undocumented students go to college without financial aid.
"So far, I've spend $8,000 out of my pocket for my education," she said.
This semester, she enrolled in two classes at Stan State that will cost her $2,170. Hernández works at a local restaurant to make ends meet.
"Honestly, I don't think about the money any more, I am used to working hard... my mentality is that of a warrior," she said.
Hernández's major is Communications/Journalism and hopes to work on television in the near future.
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