First-generation college student graduates Cal State LA

Congrats graduates! Those were the words being said across the nation with graduations happening. 

At Cal State LA, Marco Barrantes was among the first-generation grads getting his Master’s Degree. 

Barrantes, who was born in Peru, was celebrated at the graduation by his mother, his wife and her mom. His academic regalia was adorned with an honors medal.

With that master’s degree, he said "I'm in dreamland right now."

For the first time, Cal State LA had its six graduations at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Amongst the faculty in attendance from the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services and School of Social Work was Dr. Will Wong. He was a professor for Barrantes' in both the undergrad and master’s program. 

His student is 42-years-old. Wong said Barrentes brings life diversity to the classroom

Last month, social work students attended Lobby Days in Sacramento and met with lawmakers. Barrantes was among them. 

"I looking forward to calling them my colleague out there," Wong said.

What's next for all these grads? Barrantes would like to work in the area of mental health, with families and children. He calls getting a college degree a privilege.