KTVU-FOX 2 (OAKLAND) -- “I feel hopeful. yeah. All of us are here to have a better future,” says Atasha Bozorgzad, an Iranian-American who says she's the first in her family to get a college degree in the United States.
She’s far from being alone. Another student, Vanessa Arriola of Vallejo says her parents immigrated from Mexico.
She says she’s concerned about the anti-immigrant sentiment expressed by some, but says she still sees hope.
“I’m afraid of the situation we’re in. But once we hit a downfall, like everything in life, once you fall, you get back up, you smile, it’s only going to get better,” says Arriola.
Words of wisdom came from speakers at the podium including former student Peter Casey who went on to write and produce the television series “Cheers.”
He is a honorary degree recipient as is singer Johnny Mathis who is also a former student.
Many new graduates say they are reaching for the stars ... including one who received a degree in broadcast communications.
“I want to host my own show for a person-of-color narrative to get that mentality out there,” says Dwayne Hibbert, a 22-year-old from Carson, California. He says he hopes his college degree will inspire his siblings.