An emotional commencement ceremony was held Thursday at Cal State Long Beach, where the parents of Nohemi Gonzalez, the student who was killed during a terrorist attack in Paris last year, accepted her diploma.
Greeted with rousing applause and a standing ovation, her parents took in the bittersweet moment to celebrate the 23-year-old's life and accomplishments.
"When I came to this country, I was only 21 and I had dreams," said her mother, Beatriz Gonzalez. "I wanted a better life for my family. And we did it, we did it. And Nohemi is the first one who has a diploma."
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Nohemi Gonzalez's older brother, her boyfriend and her closest classmates gathered around her family members at the ceremony.
At a recent CSULB alumni event, Noehmi Gonzalez was named the outstanding graduate for the College of the Arts. The department's design shop will be renamed in her honor.
Nohemi Gonzalez, of El Monte, was one of 17 CSULB students studying abroad at the Strate College of Design in Paris at the time of the attacks. She was killed Nov. 13 while out with friends at a bistro.
The attacks killed 130 people at Paris restaurants, a noted music hall and a sports stadium outside the city. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage.