In her speech, Larissa Martinez said, "I decided to stand before you today and reveal these unexpected realities, because this might be my only chance to convey the truth to all of you that undocumented immigrants are people, too."
Martinez graduated from McKinney Boyd High School with a 4.95 grade point average.
During her speech, she revealed her mother had been in an abusive relationship and left Mexico City with her two daughters in 2010.
Deyanira Contreras, Martinez's mother, said of her children, "They are my reason to live. So that's why I do it. It's hard."
Martinez told local station WFAA her mother's strength kept her going. She now has a full scholarship to Yale and is hoping to enter the pre-med program and ultimately become a neurosurgeon.