Cal State San Marcos student beats incredible odds to earn her Masters Degree

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV) — A photo of a Cal State San Marcos graduate is going viral. It shows 29-year-old Erica Alfaro in her cap and gown, standing with her parents, in the middle of a strawberry field in Carlsbad.

Her educational journey was anything but easy.

“I was a teenage mom,” Alfaro said. She was 15 and pregnant, and became a mother at 16.

Alfaro said she dropped out of high school and was stuck in an abusive relationship.

“My baby’s father forced me to sleep outside with my baby,” Alfaro said. “That is the night I decided to go back to school.”

She left Fresno and returned home to Oceanside. It was then that she remembered a moment from when she was 13-years-old.

“My mom took me to work with her in the tomato fields,” Alfaro said. “And I remember she told me, ‘This is our life. The only people who have a good life are the people who have a good education.’”

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