My name is Alena Melo, and I was born and raised in Salinas, CA home to the beautiful Salad Bowl. Growing up, attending and graduating from a university was never an option, it was always expected. My grandparents and mom were constantly reminding me how important furthering my education was and always shared their stories about how difficult it was working in the fields. Seeing my mom be a single mother, student, and employee all at the same time showed me I had no excuse to not further my education, if she could do it, so could I. Their sacrifices for me to have a brighter future never go underappreciated. This past Fall 2020 semester I thanked them in the best way possible and became a proud second-generation university graduate. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies through Fresno State in hopes of giving back to others in some way. Though it will not be in a classroom, I am still reaching my goal of giving back. I come from a family of farmworkers and knowing that I am giving back to the community my roots were planted into through California Farmworker Foundation is just amazing. I am passionate about helping those whom I thank for all their hard work, so I am able to have fresh fruits and vegetables on my table every day.