Son of migrant workers graduating college with two degrees

By Erin Maloney, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2015, 5:04 PM EST

Marcos Gonzalez is about to graduate with not one, but two degrees from the University of South Florida.

Gonzalez is an accounting major and he knows all too well that the odds were stacked against him from a young age.

Gonzalez comes from a family of migrant workers.

“I was always in the farms since I was a little kid,” Gonzalez said.

His mother and father are still tomato pickers, spending most of their time in Immokalee, where Gonzalez considers home.

Gonzalez was 13 when he started picking tomatoes himself, while learning life lessons from his father.

"Every day I was out there my dad would tell me, 'You’re going to be out here for the rest of your life in the hot sun, breaking your back, unless you go to college and get an education. Maybe someday you can work in a nice air-conditioned office,' " said Gonzalez.

That day will come soon enough. The soon-to-be graduate is already getting calls for job interviews.

Gonzalez says college wasn’t that much different than the fields.

“Keep your head down. Work, work, work, then every once in a while pop your head up and breathe the fresh air,” said Gonzalez.

Except college opened doors to opportunities that never would have been possible in his hometown of Immokalee. Gonzalez was able to score three internships: one in Tampa, one in Manhattan, and another in Beijing.

No matter where Gonzalez goes from here, his heart will always be on the farm where his parents helped him live the American dream.

His mother, father, and siblings will be in Tampa on Saturday to watch him walk across the stage.

His ultimate dream is to buy his father a car.